The Gambia debacle keeps taking new twists as Adama Barrow has been sworn in as president of The Gambia at a ceremony held at the Gambia Embassy in Senegal.
The event was attended by African and western diplomats and is been seen as the final diplomatic nail on the Yahya Jammeh coffin.
The United Kingdom, in a statement by its Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, congratulated the new president, saying his election “were free and fair, and an orderly expression of democratic choice by the Gambian people”.
They represent a new chapter in the country’s history and an opportunity for change in The Gambia, it said.
The UK paid tribute to the “decisive leadership shown by the West African regional body, ECOWAS, and the supportive role played by the African Union in ensuring that the democratic wishes of the Gambian people will be respected”.
Barrow used his first speech in office to call on the Gambian security forces to “remain loyal to the constitution” and stay in their barracks, according to a report by the BBC.
He said soldiers found outside with firearms would be considered rebels.
“From today on I am the president of The Gambia regardless of whether you voted for me or not”
Barrow said 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.
He also vowed constitutional and legal reforms and said his election was the start of a meritocratic Gambia where “what you know” will count for more than “who you know”.
Governments around the world have been communicating their recognition of Barrow as the new president of the tiny West African nation of 2.8 million people.
Meanwhile, Gambia’s Chief Of Army Staff Ousman Badjie has said he would not order his men to fight against troops from other African nations. He said he would order his men to surrender if troops eventually march into Gambia territory.
“We are not going to involve ourselves militarily, this is a political dispute. Am not going to involve my soldiers in a stupid fight, I love my men”