Ex-President Yahya Jammeh left the Gambia on Saturday evening after 22 years of rule. This paves the way for coalition candidate Adama Barrow, who was elected in December 2016.

After weeks of conflict over power in the West African Gambia, the ousted ex-President Yahya Jammeh has gone into exile and has thus followed his resignation. Jammeh, who had ruled the Gambia for 22 years, flew off on Saturday in a private jet from Banjul International Airport.

At the airport, a small crowd of Jammeh supporters had gathered. On board the plane, Guinea’s President Alpha Condé, who had negotiated Jammeh’s power bargain. From Guinean government circles, Jammeh would at least be temporarily absorbed into Guinea’s capital, Conakry.

Military intervention by Ecowas

With Jammeh’s passage into exile is now his already sworn in successor President Adama Barrow Gambia’s undisputed state chief. With the promulgation of his retreat, Jammeh had averted a military solution to the power struggle. Jammeh had been defeated in December and had first conceded to defeat gracefully. Later, however, he changed his mind and refused to give the power to Barrow.

The political crisis in Gambia had become extremely acute in the past few days. Troops of the West African Economic Community Ecowas crossed the border to the Gambia to get Jammeh to give up power by force. The UN Security Council had agreed to military intervention. The Ecowas finally interrupted their military intervention for a last mediation attempt by Mauritania and Guinea.

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