The convoy of Gambia's preisdent-elect Adama Barrow is seen as he arrives for a meeting in Banjul, Gambia, December 12, 2016. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

Gambia’s president-elect’s safety will be guaranteed

Mainland Africa’s smallest nation has a new president-elect who does not have state security amid a political deadlock that has raised concerns about his safety.

The Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh was defeated in the polls by a little-known businessman Adama Barrow. Barrow was backed by a coalition of seven opposition parties and an independent candidate.

Jammeh at first accepted defeat but took a political u-turn calling for fresh polls. Jammeh had said the Gambia’s unique electoral system that uses marbles with on the spot counting is transparent and rig- and fraud-proof. He has flip-flopped on his statement causing a political standoff.

Barrow does not have state protection. He is being guarded by guards from a private Senegalese security firm. ECOWAS leaders in Abuja say they will guarantee his security and protection.

The West African bloc is pushing for democratic reforms and attempts to introduce two-term presidential term limits in all its member states was rejected by The Gambia and Togo.

The UN, the AU, the European Union and the United States have pledged to support ECOWAS position on the situation in the Gambia.

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