Gambia: President Barrow sworn in near Banjul

President Adama Barrow acknowledges the huge crowd during his swearing-in
President Adama Barrow acknowledges the huge crowd during his swearing-in

The Gambia has sworn in its new president, Adama Barrow, in front of a crowd of thousands.

It is the second time President Barrow has taken the oath.

The first time was at very low-key event at the country’s embassy in Senegal last month, after a lengthy power struggle forced him into exile.

After his predecessor finally agreed to step down, Mr Barrow was able to arrange a stadium event back in his homeland, near the capital city Banjul.

Crowds queued through the night to get a good spot inside the stadium.

Brass bands prepared to play and flags waved.

President Barrow is only the third president in the history of The Gambia, and the celebrations also mark 52 years of the west African country’s independence.

Long-time leader Yahya Jammeh was voted out in December but he only agreed to step aside when regional powers sent in troops ready to remove him by force.

He has since fled to Equatorial Guinea.

President Barrow has promised a new dawn for the country, which Mr Jammeh had ruled with an iron fist.

Many political prisoners have already been freed and The Gambia is set to rejoin international institutions such as the International Criminal Court and the Commonwealth.

Speaking to the BBC just before the election, President Barrow said that Gambians “had been suffering for 22 years” and were ready for change.

His predecessor had once told the BBC he would rule for a billion years, if necessary.