President Adama Barrow will be staying in his personal home until The State House is declared safe.
Barrow has not been given an all clear to head to the Gambia’s presidential compound, which is also the official seat of the government.
A credible threat to Mr. Barrow’s life has been reported by security sources. ECOMIG forces were said to have found a toxic powder in the air conditioning unit of the presidential palace.
The military general leading the regional troops, François Ndiaye has declined to comment to substantiate the report. Barrow being unable to head to The State House has made the report even more credible.
Barrow may be leading the country from his temporal office at the Kairaba Hotel. Gambians are awaiting the announcement of the remainder of his cabinet, which has been put on hold pending clearance from a vetting committee.
President Barrow has found himself in an internal crisis after it emerged his pick for vice-president, Fatoumata Jallow-Tambajang may be too old for the role under the country’s constitution.
SMBC NEWS has been informed that Mrs. Tambajang has been cleared by the committee and said “the vice presidential appointment is in consonance with the constitution,” reported Associate Editor Sainey MK Marenah.
Around 4,000 west African troops remain in The Gambia charged with ensuring safety, as it is believed rogue pro-Jammeh elements remain in the security forces that were once under his personal control.
Jammeh left the country and went into exile in Equatorial Guinea under threat of regional military intervention. The authorities have accused the former strongman of plundering state coffers and making off with $11m.
(Reporting and Writing by Sam Phatey; Additional Reporting by Aljazeera and The Guardian)