Science

ECOWAS to downsize its troops in The Gambia after Barrow's return

ECOWAS to downsize its troops in The Gambia after Barrow's return

Jubilant Gambians have welcomed home President Adama Barrow, who was elected nearly two months ago but forced to flee to Senegal when his predecessor refused to step aside.

Gambia's new president, Adama Barrow, finally returned to the country yesterday, his arrival formally marking the end of a six-week political crisis.

Barrow is the first new president in Gambia in more than 22 years.

"I am a happy man today", Barrow told the Associated Press after he arrived.

Asked about reform of The Gambia's army, whose poor reputation is partly responsible for the presence of 4,000 west African troops to guarantee Barrow and the population's safety, the president said he expected foreign nations to provide help.

Barrow landed at the airport in the capital Banjul shortly after 1700 UTC.

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Jammeh had refused to accept defeat in elections held in December 2016 and mediation efforts by ECOWAS had ended inconclusively on two occasions. "I think the bad part is finished now".

A billboard calling for the inauguration of Adam Barrow as president in February 18 is set on the side of a road in Serrukunda, Gambia, Friday Jan. 27, 2017.

He promised his cabinet would be named early next week so that he could "get the ball rolling", adding he would receive the first comprehensive information about the state of the nation's finances also on Monday or Tuesday.

Barrow will be staying at his own residence until further notice while State House, Jammeh's former seat of power, is assessed for potential risks. The world watched as Gambians showed they wanted change, supporting a coalition of opposition parties whose aim was to oust Jammeh and put the country on a path toward greater freedoms.

Jammeh has been accused by a Barrow aide of taking $11m from the state coffers before leaving for exile in Equatorial Guinea, and diplomats have said the country was already in a precarious financial state. "We want the forces to stay so that we can reform our army. and we need development in this country".


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