TO SWEAR IN: Gambian President Adama Barrow

Adama Barrow is to be inaugurated as President of Gambia at a ceremony at the national stadium on Saturday.

This will be the second time Barrow is swearing-in, after the January ceremony in neighbouring Senegal, following the refusal of then President Yahaya Jammeh to step down after losing elections in December last year.

Meanwhile, Gambia’s new government has told the United Nations it will remain in the International Criminal Court (ICC).

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The administration has reversed the previous regime’s plan to withdraw from the tribunal, announced in October after Jammeh accused the world body of ignoring alleged war crimes of Western nations and seeking only to prosecute Africans.

But President Adama Barrow, pledged during the campaign to undo Jammeh’s decision, restore human rights and repair the country’s badly-damaged foreign relations.

“As a new government that has committed itself to the promotion of human rights… we reaffirm The Gambia’s commitment to the principles enshrined in the Rome Statue of the International Criminal Court,” said a statement read on state television and radio.

The statement added Gambia’s foreign minister notified UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres of the decision in a letter last month.

The announcement constitutes a rare victory of late for the embattled tribunal. South Africa and Burundi also signalled last year they would quit the ICC and African Union member states earlier this month endorsed an unspecified ‘strategy of collective withdrawal’.

Jammeh fled to Equatorial Guinea last month under regional military pressure after refusing to accept his defeat to Barrow. Equatorial Guinea does not have an extradition treaty with Gambia.