'Fearful' Gambians flee 'looming political violence'

2017-01-16 14:46
Yahya Jammeh. (File: AFP)

Yahya Jammeh. (File: AFP)

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Banjul – Gambians fearful of a looming political violence are reportedly fleeing the tiny west African nation's capital Banjul, as the deadline for long-time leader Yahya Jammeh to hand over power nears.

According to BBC, hundreds of people were pressing to get aboard a boat in the capital to escape an impending conflict.

Many of those fleeing were women and children. They were headed to neighbouring Senegal, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

"We are four of us. We are leaving because of the political uncertainty," one of the fleeing women was quopted as saying.

The country's political crisis began a week after the long-serving leader who had earlier conceded defeat, made a u-turn and refused to cede power.

Opposition leader Adama Barrow won the elections.

Jammeh claimed that the vote had been rigged and as a result launched a court challenge that was recently postponed due to the shortage of judges in that country.

The long-time leader vowed that he would "only" step aside after the court ruling which was expected to be in May.

Meanwhile, a report on Sunday indicated that the president-elect Barrow was in neighbouring Senegal and would remain there at the request of west African leaders until his planned inauguration on Thursday.

The regional bloc also said recently that it had prepared military intervention to force Jammeh out of power when his term in office ended on January 19.

Read more on:    ecowas  |  muhammadu buhari  |  john mahama  |  adama barrow  |  ellen johnson sirleaf  |  yahya jammeh  |  senegal  |  gambia  |  sierra leone  |  guinea  |  gambia 2016 elections  |  west africa

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