Gambian President-elect Adama Barrow was sworn in as president in Dakar, Senegal on Thursday, BBC reports.

Mr. Barrow took his oath of office at the Gambian embassy in the Senegalese capital city.

While the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have recognized Mr. Barrow as the Gambian president, the defeated incumbent Yahya Jammeh has refused to step down.

Mr. Barrow defeated Mr. Jammeh in the presidential election on December 1, 2016. The longtime Gambian ruler initially conceded defeat but reversed course a week later and has since refused to hand over power.

West African leaders under the aegis of ECOWAS, including Liberian President and ECOWAS Chairperson Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, have attempted to convince Mr. Jammeh to accept the results of the election and allow Mr. Barrow to begin his term peacefully, but their efforts have thus far been in vain. 

ECOWAS subsequently threatened to remove Mr. Jammeh by force if he refused to honor the will of the Gambian people, but the Gambian autocrat maintained that he would remain in power until the Gambian Supreme Court ruled on his appeal contesting the election results.

Making good on its promise, ECOWAS mobilized troops, consisting of Senegalese and Nigerian nationals, at the Senegal-Gambia border on Wednesday. The regional military force said it is prepared to oust Mr. Jammeh.

Senegal drafted a UN resolution that would approve of an intervention and has circulated it to the 15 members of the Security Council. However, Reuters reported on Wednesday that if Mr. Barrow requests help from the regional bloc, UN approval to militarily intervene in The Gambia would not be necessary. 


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