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How Gambia's Strongman Fell From Power

MIN READJan 28, 2017 | 14:12 GMT

How Gambia's Strongman Fell From Power
After refusing to give up his office for nearly two months, former Gambian President Yahya Jammeh finally stepped down Jan. 22, enabling President Adama Barrow (pictured) to assume power.

(CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)

The "billion years" of rule that longtime Gambian President Yahya Jammeh once promised have been cut short, despite his best efforts. For more than a month, Jammeh defied fellow West African leaders' pleas and staunchly refused to cede power to Adama Barrow, the victor in Gambia's Dec. 1 presidential election. The political standoff eventually led the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to stage a military intervention, dispatching Nigerian and Senegalese troops to Gambia to force the president out. On Jan. 22, Jammeh finally gave in to the mounting international pressure and boarded a plane to Guinea at Gambia's lone international airport. From there, he retreated to exile in Equatorial Guinea. Although Jammeh's departure brought an end to the tumultuous transition, his attempt to stay in power provides lasting insight into the workings of West African relations. ...

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