In Gambia's largest urban centre, shops are closed and streets empty a day after President Adama Barrow was sworn in and longtime leader Yahya Jammeh still refuses to step down. Helena Williams reports.
Empty streets and closed-down shops in Gambia's largest urban centre Friday (January 20). The usually bustling city of Serekunda largely deserted as the country waits for leader Yahya Jammeh to hand over power to newly-elected Adama Barrow. Barrow was sworn-in at a ceremony in Senegal Thursday (Janaury 19) after winning an election in December. Jammeh HAD conceded defeat, before backtracking and saying the vote was flawed. UN-backed forces imposed a midday deadline for him to leave office before their armies continued their advance towards the capital. Jammeh's now asked to have that deadline extended. A Senegalese presidential source said the forces would wait for the end of talks before taking further action. Meanwhile the Guinean and Mauritanian presidents arrived in Banjul in a last-ditch bid to persuade him to cede power peacefully. Though Jammeh vowed to rule Gambia "for a billion years", diplomats say his departure looks increasingly possible.