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The Gambia revokes state of emergency

BY: Reuters
A police woman controls traffic at Kairaba avenue in Banjul yesterday
A police woman controls traffic at Kairaba avenue in Banjul yesterday

The Gambia's Parliament has revoked a state of emergency imposed last week by former President Yahya Jammeh shortly before he fled into exile, as the country slowly recovers from its political crisis.

Mr Jammeh plunged  The Gambia into turmoil in early December when he refused to accept his election defeat to challenger, President Adama Barrow, demanding a new poll and later dissolving the National Assembly and declaring a three-month state of emergency.

But the former soldier finally relinquished power last Saturday under strong diplomatic pressure that was backed up by several thousand West African troops who crossed into The Gambia and were poised to enforce the election result.

"The National Assembly hereby resolved ... to approve the revocation of the declaration of the state of public emergency," said Majority leader, Fabakary Tombong Jatta, of the unanimous vote.

President Barrow has still not yet returned to The Gambia from neighbouring Senegal, where he took the oath of office last Thursday.

He is due to return to the capital, Banjul, in the coming days.

The turmoil prompted some 76,000 people to flee to Senegal. The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said about 8,000 had returned home and more were expected to follow.

Meanwhile,  Mr Barrow has named senior politician Madam Fatoumata Tambajang, as Vice-President.

The announcement of Tambajang's appointment was expected to be followed by the unveiling of the rest of President Barrow's cabinet later yesterday, according to presidential spokesperson, Halifa Sallah.

Madam Tambajang, a former minister and United Nations Development Programme staffer, was the architect of an opposition coalition that helped President Barrow to defeat longtime President Jammeh in the December 1 presidential election.

She made headlines last month when she told The Guardian newspaper that Jammeh, who came to power in a 1994 coup, would be prosecuted for alleged crimes committed by his regime.

Following her comments, Jammeh, who had initially conceded defeat, announced he no longer recognised the result, triggering a protracted political crisis which ended when he went into exile last Saturday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

READ MORE: The Gambia - Ex-ruler Jammeh 'plundered coffers'

 

Barrow, who fled to Senegal earlier this month for security reasons, was sworn in as president on January 19 at The Gambia's embassy in Dakar.

 

His return date has not yet been fixed, and the appointment of his cabinet is aimed at filling a void created by his absence.