Embattled former Gambian President, Yahya Jammeh, who refused to cede power to incumbent Adama Barrow have finally agreed to step down.
The President confirmed it on his twitter handle, where he tweeted “I would like to inform you that Yahya Jammeh has agreed to step down. He is scheduled to depart Gambia today. #NewGambia.”
This follows pressure from the international community, with the 15-member regional body sending troops to oust him out of power.
The troops were, however, asked to halt to enable more talks, with Mauritania’s President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz and Guinea’s Alpha Conde flying in around noon local time to find a peaceful solution without involvement of troops.
After a string of ministerial resignations this week, Jammeh however appeared determined to stand his ground to the last, announcing he was dissolving the government and taking over.
“The President of the Republic of The Gambia Sheikh Professor Dr Alhaji Yahya Jammeh Babilimansa has dissolved his cabinet today,” a statement said. “The office of the President oversees all ministries.
Resignations, Final push and switching loyalties
Police chief Yankuba Sonko and customs boss Momat Cham also swore allegiance to Barrow, a government source who asked not to be identified told AFP.
On the ground, troops including “land, air and sea” forces had crossed into The Gambia, a Senegalese army officer told AFP, indicating that Nigeria, Ghana, Togo and Mali were also involved.
Nigerian jets flew over The Gambia earlier.
The uncertainty continued to push Gambians to flee the country and the United Nations refugee agency said around 45,000 had fled so far, more than 75 percent of them children, largely accompanied by women.
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