Senegal (Xinhua) -- Former
Gambian President Yahya Jammeh left Saturday night
Banjul, for an exile in Guinea, local medias reported
According to the Senegalese
radio station’s correspondent in Banjul, Jammeh traveled
with Guinean President Alpha Conde in the private jet of
the latter. Another plane registered Mauritanian also
took off with Jammeh’s family and entourage.
The former Gambian president was preceded to the
airport by several vehicles with luggages under heavy
Jammeh announced Saturday that he would step down
from power after last-chance talks with leaders from
West African countries.
"I have decided today in good conscience to
relinquish the mantle of leadership of this great
nation, with infinite gratitude to all Gambians," said
the longtime leader on state TV early Saturday morning.
Jammeh said he had promised that all the issues "will
be resolved peacefully" and "it is not necessary that a
single drop of blood be shed."
His announcement came after hours of a last-chance
mediation with Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel
Aziz and Guinean President Alpha Conde in Banjul.
Jammeh, who took power in July 1994 after a coup
d’etat, was defeated in the presidential election on
December 1 last year by opposition candidate Adama
Barrow sworn in as Gambia’s president on Thursday in
the Embassy of the Gambia in the Senegalese capital,
Gambians in mixed
feelings seeing former president’s departure
BANJUL (Xinhua) --
Former Gambian President Yaya Jammeh left
the capital city of Banjul Saturday night, giving way
for Adama Barrow to return from Senegal’s Dakar and
assume power as the West African country’s third
president since independence in 1965.
The longtime ruler of the tiny West Africa country
left with dozens of his ex-government members, security
officials and family members, including his Moroccan
wife and son.
Guinean President Alfa Conde, Mauritanian President
Abdul Aziz and U.N. chief for West Africa Mohammad Ibn
Chambas on Friday persuaded Jammeh to give up power and
leave the country after more than 11 hours of talks at
the State House.
Jammeh, wearing his habitual white flowing robes,
waved to supporters before boarding a small airplane
heading to Guinea first, and then to Equatorial Guinea,
where he would remain in exile.
A few hundred of relatives and supporters who came to
see Jammeh to set off broke into tears at the Banjul
"We will never forget this man," said Abdou Njie.
"He’s our hero.
"Some people don’t like him but I know what he’s done
"I am quite emotional today," said another supporter,
"What he’s done is what is best for the country. He
did it for us".
However, Famara Jatta has a different feeling.
"This is a victory for freedom," he said.
"We’ve been living under dictatorship for 20 years.
"That’s a long time.
"Our brothers and sisters are in exile and cannot
come back because of Yaya Jammeh.
"They are Gambians."
Jammeh plunged his country, known as the Smiling
Coast of West Africa, into a political crisis, after
rejecting the presidential election result in December
which declared Adama Barrow as president.
Two ECOWAS mediation efforts had failed.
Senegal-led ECOWAS troops were then deployed at the
border with Gambia, waiting for an order to remove
Jammeh by force had Friday’s talks fail.
Before leaving the country, Jammeh appeared on TV on
Friday to announce that he was relinquishing power "in
the supreme national interest of Gambia."
After his departure, life soon returns to the capital
of Banjul, which has been a ghost city for the past 72
Shops and businesses are open again and people have
returned to the streets.
The military no longer patrols the streets of the
Former Gambian President agrees 'will leave peacefully'