| Africatime
Thursday 23 March 2017
(AFP (eng) 01/25/17)
New Gambian President Adama Barrow is expected to receive a security report this week that could greenlight his return to the country, the head of the regional ECOWAS group said Tuesday. Barrow won a December election, but for weeks incumbent Yahya Jammeh refused to recognise the result, setting off a crisis that saw the new president take his oath of office in neighbouring Senegal last week. Worried for his safety, Barrow has yet to return from Senegal. Speaking at a briefing in Nigeria's capital of Abuja Marcel Alain de Souza, head of the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), said the troops were working to secure Banjul and the surrounding area. "Today or tomorrow, we will be able...
(AFP (eng) 01/25/17)
At least 8,000 Gambians who fled the country have returned since strongman Yahya Jammeh went into exile after being threatened with regional military intervention, the UN refugee agency said Tuesday. Political outsider and businessman Adama Barrow won a December election, but for weeks Jammeh refused to recognise the result, setting off a crisis that saw the internationally-backed Barrow take his oath of office in Senegal last week. Jammeh's defiance prompted more than 76,000 people to seek shelter in Senegal, the UN refugee agency said, citing Senegalese authorities. It said "more than an estimated 8,000 people, as of Monday, have returned to their native Gambia since the political crisis there ended" when Jammeh left the country on Saturday night. According to...
(Bloomberg 01/25/17)
Taiwan’s last two African allies have no plans to switch allegiances and break ties with Taipei as Beijing tries to woo the self-ruled island’s diplomatic partners. Burkina Faso won’t cut relations with Taiwan despite people and companies with links to China offering funding in return for recognition of the One-China principle, according to Foreign Minister Alpha Barry. Swaziland said its relationship with Taiwan is based on mutual interests, not on money. “We get outrageous proposals telling us, ‘if you sign with Beijing we’ll offer you $50 billion or even more,’’’ Barry said in an interview in the capital, Ouagadougou, this month. “Taiwan is our friend and our partner. We’re happy and we see no reason to reconsider the relationship.” Competition...
(AFP (eng) 01/24/17)
Gambian ex-president Yahya Jammeh will be allowed to keep his collection of 13 luxury cars and fly them out to his exiled home in Equatorial Guinea, a spokesman for new president Adama Barrow said Tuesday. Barrow's spokesman confirmed to AFP an agreement had been struck to facilitate Jammeh's exit on Saturday in order to end a weeks-long impasse caused by the ex-leader's refusal to recognise Barrow's election victory. "What is very clear is that arrangements were made and the government was fully prepared and supportive of ex-president Jammeh to leave and as a result they found it is better to leave with all his properties instead of coming down and checking properties," spokesman Halifa Sallah told AFP. An airport source...
(AFP (eng) 01/24/17)
Gambian President Adama Barrow has chosen a former minister of longtime leader Yahya Jammeh as vice-president, a spokesman said Monday. Fatoumata Jallow-Tambajang is often described as the woman who persuaded The Gambia's divided opposition parties to club together and field a single candidate in the December 1 election which Barrow eventually won. A former health minister in the early years of ex-leader Jammeh's 22-year rule, Jallow-Tambajang was specifically chosen to correct the gender balance in Barrow's administration, spokesman Halifa Sallah told journalists in announcing
(Cnbc Africa 01/24/17)
While Brexit and the U.S. election dominated headlines in 2016, the African continent witnessed major changes of its own. Its two largest economies were destabilized, with Nigeria being driven into recession and the South African political elite grappling for power. Conflict continued to make news, with the continuation of people trafficking across the Mediterranean and violence in South Sudan bubbling over. Macroeconomic concerns Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa fell to 1.5 percent in 2016 according to the World Bank, which deemed this "the weakest pace in over two decades." The slowdown was chiefly blamed on low commodity prices. But, the organization forecasts growth of 2.9 percent in the region for 2017. Africa's two biggest economies have a lot to account for...
(AFP (eng) 01/23/17)
The Gambia on Monday awaited the arrival of President Adama Barrow as his team said former strongman Yahya Jammeh plundered the nation's coffers before going into exile. Barrow, who was sworn in as the new head of state on January 19 at his country's embassy in neighbouring Senegal, has put off his return over fears for his safety. His team refused to confirm to AFP on Monday exactly when he expected to return. An aide to Barrow meanwhile accused Jammeh of emptying the state's coffers by plundering millions of dollars in his final days in power. "Over two weeks, over 500 million dalasi ($11 million) were withdrawn" by Jammeh, Mai Fatty said. "As we take over, the government of The...
(AFP (eng) 01/23/17)
West African troops entered The Gambia Sunday to secure President Adama Barrow's arrival from neighbouring Senegal, as controversy erupted over the assurances offered to Yahya Jammeh to guarantee his exit. Jammeh flew out of The Gambia on Saturday, ending 22 years at the helm of the tiny west African nation, and landed in Equatorial Guinea a few hours later where he is expected to settle with his family. The Senegalese general leading a joint force of troops from five African nations said soldiers had nonetheless entered The Gambia to "control strategic points to ensure the safety of the population and facilitate... Barrow's assumption of his role." An AFP journalist in the Gambian border town of Farafenni saw a convoy crossing...
(AFP (eng) 01/23/17)
Officials in Equatorial Guinea refused to comment on Sunday on whether ousted former Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh had arrived in the country. But in a statement, Equatorial Guinea's opposition denounced the presence of Jammeh, whose 22-year reign was marked by systematic human rights abuses, on their soil. Jammeh slinked off in the dead of night from The Gambia's capital Banjul in the early hours of Sunday on an unmarked plane alongside Guinea-Conakry's President Alpha Conde. The strongman's departure ended six weeks of political turmoil sparked by Jammeh's refusal to accept his election defeat to new Gambian President Adama Barrow. Following a short stopover in Conakry, the Guinean capital, Jammeh was due to head to Equatorial Guinea, a top Economic Community...
(AFP (eng) 01/23/17)
Gambia's exiled strongman Yahya Jammeh plundered millions of dollars in his final weeks in power leaving state coffers "empty", an aide to new President Adama Barrow said as West African troops prepared to secure his arrival. Jammeh flew out of The Gambia on Saturday, ending 22 years at the helm of the small west African nation, and headed for Equatorial Guinea where he is expected to settle with his family. A West African military force entered The Gambia Sunday -- greeted by cheers from relieved residents -- to provide security and allow Barrow, who has been in neighbouring Senegal for more
(NPR 01/23/17)
Gambia's defeated leader Yahya Jammeh has departed the country, after a weeks-long standoff as he tried to maintain his grip on power which culminated in West African troops crossing Gambia's borders. Now, the country is awaiting the arrival of new president Adama Barrow. He fled to Senegal for his own protection and was sworn in at Gambia's embassy in Dakar last week. And as NPR's Eyder Peralta reports, Barrow's spokesman Halifa Sallah described a long list of tasks ahead of him at a news conference. "He has to end the state of emergency, he has to find a way to get thousands of Gambians back home after they fled fearing a bloody confrontation," Eyder reports. "Perhaps most importantly, though, Barrow...
(AFP (eng) 01/22/17)
Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh flew out Saturday from the country he ruled for 22 years to cede power to President Adama Barrow and end a political crisis. Jammeh refused to step down after a December 1 election in which Barrow was declared the winner, triggering weeks of uncertainty that almost ended in a military intervention involving five other west African nations. The longtime leader, wearing his habitual white flowing robes, waved to supporters before boarding a small, unmarked plane at Banjul airport alongside Guinea's President Alpha Conde after two days of talks over a departure deal. He landed in Conakry, Guinea's capital but set off again for Equatorial Guinea, where he will remain in exile, the president of the Economic...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/22/17)
Gambia's former leader Yahya Jammeh on Saturday flew into exile in Equatorial Guinea after stepping down under pressure from West African nations to accept that he lost a December election to President Adama Barrow, mediators said. His exit ends rising tension as thousands of troops from Senegal and Nigeria who entered the tiny country on Thursday were poised to swoop on the capital Banjul. It also paves the way for the return home of Barrow, who was sworn in as leader at the Gambian embassy in Senegal on Thursday. Jammeh took power in a coup in 1994, and his government is accused of torturing and killing perceived opponents. There were few celebrations in Banjul as news of his departure spread,...
(AFP (eng) 01/21/17)
Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh said Saturday he would step down to keep peace in his country after 22 years in power, following last-chance talks with west African leaders before a military intervention. Jammeh spent hours with Guinea and Mauritania's presidents on Friday in Banjul, where agreement was reached that he would hand power to Adama Barrow, the declared winner of elections last month. "I have decided today in good conscience to relinquish the mantle of leadership of this great nation with infinite gratitude to all Gambians," Jammeh said in a statement broadcast on state television. The leader declared his decision to leave office -- after weeks of stalling through threats and legal action -- was his alone, despite immense pressure...
(AFP (eng) 01/21/17)
Gambia's Yahya Jammeh agreed "in principle" to hand over power to President Adama Barrow on Friday, Mauritanian and Guinean sources said, but differences remained before a full deal could be reached. Mauritania's President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz and Guinea's Alpha Conde held several hours of talks with Jammeh in which they agreed he should step aside but not how and where he would live out his exile. Troops from five African nations were stationed on the tiny nation's borders in the event the last-ditch talks fell through, as it was confirmed Conde would stay into Saturday to iron out remaining disagreements. Jammeh has refused to recognise his defeat in presidential elections last month, and would be offered asylum in the...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/21/17)
Gambia's leader Yahya Jammeh said on Saturday he would step down from power in a statement made in the face of pressure from West African armies that entered his country to remove him after he refused to concede an election defeat to President Adama Barrow. His decision ends a political impasse and will likely be welcomed by democracy advocates and viewed as a triumph for African diplomacy. It also brings to a close a reign that began in 1994 when he seized power in a coup. Jammeh's government established a reputation for torturing and killing perceived opponents to stifle dissent. "I have decided today in good conscience to relinquish the mantle of leadership of this great nation," he said on...
(AFP (eng) 01/20/17)
Veteran Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh was Friday facing a midday deadline to quit power, after thousands of regional troops entered the country to pile pressure on him to hand power to the winner of last month's presidential election. Soldiers from Senegal and four other west African countries crossed the border on Thursday to bolster new President Adama Barrow, who was sworn in at The Gambia's embassy in Dakar. Jammeh has rejected Barrow's election win, despite significant pressure from regional powers and the UN, sparking a major crisis and sending tourists -- vital for the tiny country's economy -- fleeing. The military operation was suspended to allow a final diplomatic push to convince Jammeh, who has ruled the former British colony...
(AFP (eng) 01/20/17)
More than 45,000 people have fled a political crisis in The Gambia this month, the United Nations said Friday, as veteran leader Yahya Jammeh faced a midday deadline to leave office. "Around 45,000 people are now reported to have arrived in Senegal from The Gambia... amid the ongoing political uncertainty as Senegalese and West African troops entered the country on Thursday," the UN refugee agency said in Geneva. "It is feared that more people may continue to flee as the situation remains tense," UNHCR said, adding that another
(AFP (eng) 01/20/17)
Long-ruling Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh, who lost elections last month, has until midday Friday to hand over power and agree to leave the country or face military action, regional bloc ECOWAS has said. West African troops entered The Gambia on Thursday to bolster its new President Adama Barrow but the military operation was suspended a few hours later, in favour of a final diplomatic effort to convince Jammeh -- who has refused to quit -- to exit the country. "We have suspended operations and given him an ultimatum," said Marcel Alain de Souza, head of the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States. "If by midday, he doesn't agree to leave The Gambia...we really will intervene militarily," he added. Final...
(AFP (eng) 01/20/17)
Senegalese troops entered The Gambia on Thursday in support of its new President Adama Barrow, who took office demanding loyalty from his own armed forces in a tense standoff with his defeated rival. Barrow was sworn in at The Gambia's embassy in Dakar, although longtime leader Yahya Jammeh has refused to step down despite international pressure following his December election loss. Celebrations erupted in the Gambian capital, which has been on edge over the crisis in the former British colony in west Africa. Dressed all in white, 51-year-old Barrow waved to crowds at the ceremony that anointed him, seeking to end the 22-year rule of Jammeh, who has not been seen but is believed to be still in Banjul. "This...

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