Gambia’s former authoritarian ruler Yahya Jammeh’s plane landed in Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea where he will be in exile with his family.
Mr. Jammeh was bent to leave power after ECOWAS sent 7,000 troops into Gambia on Thursday to obliterate the longtime ruler. Jammeh departure has brought the campaign to a stop but some troops will remain in the country to ensure security.
Regional leaders who have vowed to uphold the results of the election in which Jammeh was defeated by all means necessary. Mediators led by Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari were sent twice with no success.
The recent deal was brokered by Mauritania’s President Mohamed Ould Abdul Aziz and Guinea’s Alpha Conde in a last-ditch diplomatic effort that put the military mission on pause.
As Jammeh went into exile with an extraordinary set of assurances from the international community, Gambia’s capital is awaiting the arrival of the country’s new leader and an era of democracy.
President Adama Barrow, the Gambia’s new leader has rejected an agreement from Conde and Abdel Aziz that gave Jammeh does guarantees, which included the right to come home and participate in the next polls.
Jammeh, who first seized power in a 1994 coup, had been holed up in recent days in his official residence in Banjul, increasingly isolated as he was abandoned by his security forces and several Cabinet members.
For weeks, Mr. Jammeh, who has a long record of human rights abuses, has insisted that results of the election that ousted him were flawed. He had called for a new vote, even after initially conceding the election to Mr. Barrow.
(Reporting and Writing by Sam Phatey; Additional Writing by Mustapha Darboe; Additional Reporting from NY Times, USA Today, WRAL)