Fate Of Gambia's Jammeh Unknown; Official State House Website Now Shows "President Barrow"

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President Barrow. Photo: State House, Gambia website

 

The fate of Gambia's Yahya Jammeh, who first conceded presidential election defeat in December then refused to step down remains a mystery.


He was defiant and refused to leave the country with the president of Mauritania who traveled to Gambia on Wednesday.


It's already January 19 in Gambia and the official State House website on www.statehouse.gov.gm which earlier in the day had dozens of photos of Jammeh showing him in various functions as president now has a single photograph, that of Adamo Barrow, with the title "President."


Barrow is wearing a white robe and cap-- the only words contained on the website are: "Adama Barrow, President of The Republic of the Gambia, Official Inauguration 19th January, 2017."


Earlier in the day the website contained photographs of Jammeh engaged in various activities such as swearing in new ministers -- many have defected in recent days-- helping farmers plant crops, and welcoming foreign dignitaries or delivering speeches.


In an 11th-hour mission, Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz had traveled to Gambia in an effort to urge Jammeh to depart the country with him. At midnight when Jammeh's term expired Ould Abdel Aziz left the country alone.

He traveled to Senegal where other West African leaders who have demanded that Jammeh step-down have gathered. Barrow is also in Senegal. He will likely return to Gambia escorted by regional troops


Earlier, Jammeh's Vice President Dr. Isatou Njie Saidy quit the government, joining eight others who had already resigned or fled the country.


The Economic Commission for West African States (Ecowas) had already amassed an intervention armed force across the border in Senegal.

The force, whose bulk is made up of Senegalese troops, includes Nigerian and Ghanaian contingents, according to a Nigerian military official.


Gambia's armed forces is believed to number about 2,000 to 2,500. In 1981 when Senegal quelled a coup attempt in Gambia it initially deployed 400 commandos and later about 3,000 troops.

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