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Finally, Gambia’s Yahya Jammeh ‘agrees to step down’

Gambia’s outgoing leader, Yahya Jammeh, will finally leave power for internationally-recognized Adama Barrow, after failing three deadlines.

Yahya Jammeh
Longtime ruler Yahya Jammeh, who refuses to step down – and now faces military action

The newly elected President Adama Barrow tweeted “I would like to inform you that Yahya Jammeh has agreed to step down. He is scheduled to depart Gambia today.”

A France24 journalist in The Gambia, Nicolas Germain, tweeted at 5.56PM, almost two hours after the expiration of the third deadline, quoted The Gambian officials as saying Mr. Jammeh was writing a statement “where he accepts defeat.”

For hours, Mr. Jammeh has been in talks with Mauritanian and Guinean leaders, persuading him to step down to avert being forced out by ECOWAS troops already in his country’s territory.

The troops acting in support of President Barrow have since paused their advance. They crossed into The Gambia from Senegal on Thursday but have been told not to advance further until the talks had finished.

ECOWAS is backed by the United Nations to enforce respect for the December 1 election in which Mr. Barrow was returned winner. Mr. Barrow was sworn-in at the embassy of The Gambia in Senegal.