Gambia's preisdent-elect Adama Barrow arrives for a meeting in Banjul, Gambia, December 12, 2016. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

Barrow warns Jammeh to cooperate, says he will declare himself president

Gambia’s President-elect says he will declare himself president if President Yahya Jammeh refuses to relinquish power after January 18 when Jammeh’s term expires.

Barrow, 51, won Jammeh in a decisive election. Jammeh accepted defeat and made a political u-turn that has brought up a standoff.

Barrow has warned Jammeh to cooperate.

“Our position is very very clear. I’m President-elect, we advise the president to cooperate. We have a team that is working on our inauguration. We are working on it; on the 18th, I’m the legal president of this country,” Barrow said.

The opposition said it will declare Jammeh a rebel if he refuses to leave.

The UN announced it will be putting strong sanctions on Jammeh if he continues to clinch on to power. West African leaders hinted the use of military force to bend Jammeh to hand over. His continuous stay in power against the will of The Gambia can destabilize not just The Gambia, but the entire sub-region.

Jammeh is facing increasing backlash and strong condemnation from the international community and local unions. They are all supporting the opposition’s call for Jammeh to step down immediately.

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