- Title: Supporters greet Gambia's Barrow as he is sworn in as president in Senegal
- Date: 19th January 2017
- Summary: DAKAR, SENEGAL (JANUARY 19, 2017) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF BARROW LEAVING EMBASSY, WAVING AND BLOWING KISSES TO SUPPORTERS, CROWD CHEERING VARIOUS OF BARROW'S CONVOY DRIVING AWAY THROUGH CROWD CROWD RUSHING FORWARD SUPPORTER WEARING T-SHIRT READING (English): "#GAMBIA HAS DECIDED" (SOUNDBITE) (English) BARROW SUPPORTER, FATOU SILLAH, SAYING: "I am here at the Gambian embassy to swear on Barrow that he's my President from now for three years and then no more Yahya Jammeh because we don't want him anymore." (SOUNDBITE) (French) FORMER SENEGAL FOREIGN MINISTER, SIDI SANNEH, SAYING: "This has been the day that we have all been fighting for, for a very, very long time, and now it is here. We are really grateful that we have had so many collaborators in this effort to make it happen. It is not me or somebody else, it is all of us. So really today is a day for all of us to enjoy." SUPPORTERS CHEERING AND CELEBRATING
- Embargoed: 2nd February 2017 19:07
- Keywords: Senegal Gambia Dakar embassy Barrow Jammeh ECOWAS inauguration
- Location: DAKAR, SENEGAL
- City: DAKAR, SENEGAL
- Country: Senegal
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0035ZR0ZT3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Adama Barrow took the oath of office as Gambia's president at its embassy in neighbouring Senegal, calling for international support as regional troops prepared to back him in a showdown with incumbent Yahya Jammeh, who has refused to step down.
Barrow gave the oath, administered by the president of Gambia's bar association, in a tiny room in Gambia's embassy in the Senegalese capital, Dakar, and many of those present broke into the Gambian national anthem once he had completed it.
Outside the building on a residential street amid a heavy security presence, dozens of Gambians listened to the ceremony through loudspeakers.
During the brief inauguration speech, Barrow called for West African regional bloc ECOWAS, the African Union and United Nations to support Gambia.
"I hereby make a special appeal to ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States), AU (African Union), and UN (United Nations), particularly the security council, to support the government and people of the Gambia in enforcing their will and restoring their sovereignty and constitutional legitimacy. I therefore call on all civilians and military personnel of the state to support my presidency since it is built on a constitutional foundation. They are assured that they will not be subjected to any injustice and discrimination but would be provided with better working conditions and terms of service," said Barrow to a room full of various officials, including the Senegal foreign minister and the U.S. ambassador to Senegal.
Barrow asserted his new role as commander and chief of Gambia's armed services, ordering soldiers to stay calm and remain in their barracks. Those who did not would be considered rebels, he said.
"As the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, I call on all personnel of the armed forces and other security agencies to remain loyal to the constitution and the republic. I command the chief of the defence staff and other officers of high command to demonstrate their loyalty to me as their commander-in-chief without any delay. I command all members of the armed forces to remain in their barracks. Those found wanting or in possession of firearms without my order shall be considered rebels," Barrow said.
Barrow was met with loud cheers by supporters as he left the Gambian embassy.
"I'm here at the Gambian embassy to swear on Barrow that he's my President from now for three years and then no more Yahya Jammeh because we don't want him anymore," said Fatou Silla, 33, a businesswoman who fled Gambia with her son a week ago.
"This has been the day that we have all been fighting for for a very very long time, and now it is here. We are really grateful that we have had so many collaborators in this effort to make it happen. It is not me or somebody else, it is all of us. So really today is a day for all of us to enjoy," said former Senegal foreign minister Sidi Sanneh.
Fearing unrest, thousands of Gambians have fled the country, the United Nations estimates.
Senegalese troops entered neighbouring Gambia on Thursday, an army spokesman said shortly after the UN Security Council backed efforts by West African states to ensure Barrow assumes power from Jammeh.
Jammeh, in power since a 1994 coup and whose mandate ended overnight, initially conceded defeat to Barrow following a Dec. 1 election before back-tracking, saying the vote was flawed.
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