Gambian lawmakers end country's week-old state of emergency

AP News
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Posted: Jan 24, 2017 3:04 PM
Gambian lawmakers end country's week-old state of emergency

BANJUL, Gambia (AP) — Gambia's lawmakers on Tuesday lifted the country's state of emergency and revoked a three-month extension of ousted leader Yahya Jammeh's term, as the new government began dismantling his final attempts to cling to power.

Both measures were implemented last week as international pressure grew on Jammeh to cede power to Adama Barrow, who won the December election and was sworn in Thursday in neighboring Senegal. As regional troops were poised to move in, Jammeh finally agreed to step down and flew into exile Saturday night. Mediators said he was headed for Equatorial Guinea.

Barrow is expected to return home in the coming days. The troops deployed by the West African regional body known as ECOWAS continued security sweeps in Gambia on Tuesday to secure the country for his arrival.

Barrow has requested that the forces stay for six months, but it is unclear whether regional heads of state will approve a deployment of that length because "there is no fund for that now," an ECOWAS spokesman, Liberor Doscof Aho, said Tuesday.

"Normally they are supposed to stay for a few days, but because of the situation they will stay for one or two weeks to secure Banjul," he said. "The six months is at the request of the new president."

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Associated Press writer Bashir Adigun contributed to this report from Abuja, Nigeria.