The African Union has welcomed and congratulated the new President of Gambia, Adama Barrow.
President Barrow was sworn in at the Gambian Embassy in Dakar, Senegal, on Thursday, amid tensions as former President Yahya Jammeh refuses to give up the position.
In a small and short ceremony, Barrow recited the oath of office in front of Senegalese Prime Minister Mahammed Dionne, foreign ambassadors to Senegal and officials from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Chairperson of the African Union Commission Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma said President Barrow’s swearing-in took place under extra-ordinary circumstances, but she was confident the situation would normalise.
“We do hope and pray that the situation in The Gambia will soon normalise so that you can concentrate on serving all Gambians, who have entrusted you with the highest office of the land.”
The AU Commission Chairperson said in the days ahead, she will be sending President Barrow an invitation to attend the upcoming 28th Assembly of Heads of State and Government, scheduled to take place on 30 and 31 January in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Dlamini Zuma also hoped the former President Jammeh will, in the interest of Gambian people, bow out peacefully and in accordance with the constitution.
She expressed concern over the State of Emergency declared by the former President on Tuesday just two days before he had to give up the high office.
“The people of The Gambia went to the polls and voted a new leader. Therefore, Africa must ensure that the will of the people is respected and protected.”
The AU is working closely with ECOWAS leaders and the United Nations.