Gambian President Adama Barrow, who was inaugurated in neighbouring Senegal as mediators engineered an exit deal for predecessor Yahya Jammeh, is to return to Gambia on Thursday, a senior aide said.
Barrow will face the task of restoring democratic governance in the sliver-like West African country after 22 years under Jammeh, whose government gained a reputation for the torture and killing of perceived opponents.
“He (Barrow) is leaving tomorrow and will arrive in Banjul at around 4 p.m. (1600 GMT),” aide Amie Bojang told Reuters.
Jammeh pitched Gambia into turmoil in December when he refused to accept his loss in an election to Barrow and demanded a fresh vote.
The former soldier finally stepped down on Saturday and went into exile in Equatorial Guinea under diplomatic pressure given teeth by several thousand West African troops who crossed into Gambia and were poised to enforce the election result.
Many Gambians are angry that Jammeh fled into what they assume to be a luxurious exile rather than face trial for alleged human rights abuses.