Flights carrying British holidaymakers evacuated from Gambia arrive at the UK's Manchester airport. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION British tourists evacuated from Gambia arrived at the UK's Manchester airport early on Thursday morning (January 19), as the country's President Yahya Jammeh clung to power ahead of his rival Adama Barrow's planned swearing in. Holidaymaker Alan Harper, from Nottingham, described the atmosphere in the country before his trip was cut short. "We went out on Wednesday night to a Chinese (restaurant) and we got there and they said 'oh we're closing within the hour' so we had to have our main course and get straight out and all the Gambian people who worked at the Chinese were coming straight out because they were frightened to death, they were all hurrying home," he said. Sara Wilkins, from Shropshire, said, "Last night it all got a bit too serious all the restaurants shut down all the shops shut down, and it did it got really scary," adding she was "relieved" to be back. Jammeh, a former soldier who once vowed to rule for "a billion years", is refusing to step down, despite condemnation from regional leaders and even the threat of an imminent invasion by West African troops to enforce his election defeat. After the British foreign office raised its level of alert to advise against all but essential travel, UK tour operator Thomas Cook started evacuating nearly 1,000 holidaymakers by air on Wednesday. Tourists from other countries followed suit.