Gambia’s exiled ruler President Yahya Jammeh can return to the West African nation, says Halifa Sallah, spokesperson for the country’s new President Adama Barrow.
President Jammeh boarded an unmarked plane to Guinea then to Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea where he would be living.
Jammeh was forced to cede power after ECOMIG forces were authorized to arrest him and uphold the results of the elections in which Jammeh suffered defeat.
President Adama Barrow rejected a draft agreement, according to a senior presidential aide, Mai Ahmad Fatty, but Sallah says Jammeh will continue to be treated and respected as a former head of state who has temporarily left the country and has the right to return home.
Jammeh was seeking to return home and to participate in polls as part of his agreement to leave but the longtime ruler left the country when Mr. Barrow threatened to resume the military campaign to flush him out.
Jammeh went into exile with his family, close relatives, and aides on Saturday.
Human rights activists want him prosecuted for crimes against the state and human rights abuses but Mr. Barrow insists there will be no prosecution. He, however, pledge to enforce the recommendations of a truth and reconciliation commission.
Jammeh’s departure from the peanut exporting nation allowed for the country’s ended the political stalemate sparked by his refusal to cede and marked the first peaceful transfer of power since the former British Colony gained independence.