Gambians Flee Their Country As Jammeh Refuses To Step Aside

As Gambia’s presidential inauguration day looms, and the current president still hesitant in accepting the outcome of the Dec 1 elections, some Gambians are predicting political violence and consequently fleeing the capital, Banjul.

The BBC reports that hundreds of people were pressing to get aboard a boat in the capital to escape a looming conflict.

The network also reported that most of the people fleeing were women and children whose destination are Senegal, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

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“We are four of us. We are leaving because of the political uncertainty,” one of the fleeing women was quoted as saying.

Gambians took to the polls on December 1 to elect a new president, little did most know that they would indeed be electing a new president, Adama Barrow.

President Jammeh had ruled the Gambia since taking over in a coup in 1994, therefore, most if not all Gambians know nothing of a Gambia without President Jammeh in power.

Prior to the election, the opposition parties formed a coalition, which saw Adama Barrow emerge the presidential candidate. To the surprise of Gambians, he also emerged the winner of the election.

President Jammeh had also conceded defeat upon the Gambia’s electoral commission’s announcement of Barrow as the President-elect of the Gambia

However, a week later he ate his words, stating he won’t accept the outcome of the elections, citing irregularities during the vote counting process. The Gambia’s electoral commissioner, however, maintained that Adama Barrow was the winner of the December 1 election.

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He vowed to only step down after the court makes a decision, but the case was adjourned until May, nonetheless the Judge urged him to settle his differences with the opposition out of court and also consider the advice of ECOWAS – to step down.