Adama Barrow sworn in as Gambian President, Demands Loyalty from Armed Forces

Gambia President, Adama Barrow

Adama Barrow has taken the oath of office as Gambia’s new president. He was sworn-in about 5pm Senegalese time at the Gambian embassy in Dakar, Senegal.

A Photograph on his Twitter handle shows him taking the the oath of office.

He succeeds Alhaji Yahya Jammeh, who lost in the 1 December presidential election and has refused to vacate office when his term expired midnight yesterday.

“This is a victory of the Gambian nation. Our national flag will fly high among those of the most democratic nations of the world.,” read a tweet after the ceremony.

Western ambassadors to Senegal, the UN envoy for West Africa and top officials from the regional bloc Ecowas (Economic Community of West African States) attended the ceremony, while hundreds of Gambian expatriates gathered outside the compound.

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“I, Adama Barrow, do swear that I’ll well and truly prosecute the functions of office the president of the Republic of The Gambia. That I will preserve and defend the constitution,” he said.

In his inauguration speech, he ordered all members of The Gambia’s armed forces to remain in their barracks.

“Those found illegally holding arms will be considered rebels,” he warned.

West African military forces, stationed at the border, say they are ready to enforce a transfer of power in The Gambia, a popular beach destination among European holidaymakers.

Nigeria said on Thursday that its “armed reconnaissance air force are over Gambia”, the AFP reports.

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“They have the capacity to strike,” Nigerian Air Force spokesman Ayodele Famuyiwa told the news agency.

Demands Loyalty from Armed Forces

President Adama Barrow has used his first speech in office to call on the Gambian security forces to “remain loyal to the constitution” and stay in their barracks.

Soldiers found outside with firearms would be considered rebels, he said.

“From today on I am the president of The Gambia regardless of whether you voted for me or not,” he said.

Mr Barrow added that his election was an opportunity for Gambians to “effect change that has been in the making for decades” and pledged “liberty and prosperity for everyone” regardless of ethnicity or gender.

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He also vowed constitutional and legal reforms and said his election was the start of a meritocratic Gambia where “what you know” will be count for more than “who you know”.

Mr Barrow took the oath of office with the backing of foreign governments, despite the fact that Yahya Jammeh has refused give up power in The Gambia.

BBC/RTS

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