Gambia’s new President Adama Barrow has finally returned to The Gambia after almost two weeks in Senegal under security reasons.
He received a tumultuous and well-fitting welcome at the Banjul International Airport and escorted by thousands of waiting Gambians and other people standing by the highway side clapping and waving at him while he appears on top of his car equally waving the crowd.
Under heavy security by the ECOMIG, President Barrow is been escorted to his residence at TAF Estate in Brufut town where he will live for the meantime while the State House is under sanity checks by the ECOWAS forces to ensure safety.
He was sworn-in last week on January 19th at the Gambian embassy in Dakar, Senegal, at a time when former President Yahya Jammeh remained defiant and occupied the State House refusing to hand over power.
Mr Barrow left the country since January 13th, when he flew to Mali to attend the 27th Africa-France Partnership, Peace and Emergence Summit after the failed second attempt by ECOWAS mediators to convince former President Yahya Jammeh to accept defeat and hand over power peacefully.
From the Summit, President Barrow was diverted to Senegal at the request of the Chairwoman of the Authority of Heads of States of ECOWAS and Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf based on security reason as his safety was paramount amidst the political impasse that engulfed the country.
Senegalese President Macky Sall responded favorably to the request of his Liberian counterpart and agreed to host President Barrow until his swearing-in day while ECOWAS continue its peaceful mediation efforts.
The sub-regional body tasked Nigerian President Muhammadou Buhari as chief mediator accompanied by Ghana’s former President John Mahama and Liberian Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to mediate the political crisis.
They have exhausted all efforts but former President Jammeh would not agree to leave power, thereby leaving the sub-regional body with no option but to intervene military and ensure that the will of the people is respected.
As the military advance into the country on January 20th, Guinean President Alpha Conde and Mauritanian President Muhamad Ould Abdul Aziz suddenly requested a halt on the operation. They flew into the country in last ditch attempt to convince Mr Jammeh. The mission finally succeeded and Mr Jammeh agreed to hand over power and flew out of the country and currently on exile in Equatorial Guinea.