Banjul - Gambia's new president was set to be inaugurated on Saturday as this tiny West African nation celebrates wider freedoms after a tense political standoff with its former leader.
Several heads of state were scheduled to attend the ceremony for President Adama Barrow. He was sworn into office last month at Gambia's embassy in neighboring Senegal as former leader Yahya Jammeh refused to cede power.
International pressure, including the threat of a regional military intervention, led Jammeh to finally accept his December election loss and fly into exile. Hundreds of thousands of Gambians welcomed Barrow's return to Gambia soon afterward.
Barrow has pledged to reverse many of Jammeh's actions and has committed to stay in the International Criminal Court and rejoin the Commonwealth. He also has vowed to free political prisoners.
The international community has quickly warmed to Barrow's approach, with the European Union recently announcing $80 million package of support after breaking off assistance amid tensions with Jammeh.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson visited Barrow on Tuesday, saying: "We are here to help."
The U.S. assistant secretary of state for African affairs, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, was among the dignitaries expected to attend Saturday's ceremony.