Gambia's New President Is Inheriting the Country from a Man Who Maybe Stole All of Its Money

Adama Barrow is the country's first new president in 23 years after winning an election disputed by outgoing dictator Yahya Jammeh.
January 27, 2017, 2:37pm

Crowds of people packed the streets of Gambia's capital Banjul Thursday to welcome home the country's new president Adama Barrow, who has finally taken power almost two months after he won an election disputed by outgoing dictator Yahya Jammeh. A human rights expert has warned however that the hard work is only just beginning for Barrow—the first new president in 23 years. The challenges he faces include trying to unify a country that is still deeply divided; implementing sweeping law reforms; and overhauling the army and security forces, which, under Jammeh, conducted widespread human rights abuses. Barrow had been in self-imposed exile in neighbouring Senegal for several weeks after Jammeh refused to step down, despite losing the election in December — the results of which he had initially accepted. Jammeh finally left the country last weekend, and has gone into exile in Equatorial Guinea, but not before allegedly plundering the Gambian coffers of $11.4M. Barrow's special adviser, Mai Ahmad Fatty, told local media in Senegal that Jammeh had made off with the money before he fled. "The Gambia is in financial distress. The coffers are virtually empty. That is a state of fact." Read more on VICE News.