Gambia’s newly-elected president, Adama Barrow, will return to the country Thursday after fleeing earlier this year, fearing for his safety, officials said.
Barrow beat out long-time Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh in the December presidential election, but Jammeh refused to concede the election until last week, citing irregularities in the vote.
Jammeh left the country on Saturday after other West African countries threatened a military intervention if he did not cede power. His departure ends a 22-year-long rule in which he has been accused by human rights groups of using violence to suppress opposition political groups.
The regional forces have been in Gambia for about a week because of Jammeh’s refusal to concede and are now securing the country for Barrow’s arrival on Thursday.
The new president has asked that the foreign security forces remain in Gambia for the next six months, but it has not yet been decided whether the troops will stay.
Barrow took his oath of office at the Gambian embassy in Senegal last week, where he has been staying since he fled his country.