Washington (January 23, 2017) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), top Democrat on the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Policy, released the following statement today following the swearing in of Adama Barrow as president of The Gambia.  After initially conceding defeat and then refusing to leave office, former President Yahya Jammeh, who ruled for 22 years, departed the country on Saturday. 

“I congratulate Adama Barrow on his inauguration as the next President of The Gambia. Mr. Barrow’s election is a milestone in the history of his country, and I applaud the Gambian people for their commitment to democracy.  Former President Yahya Jammeh’s refusal to accept the will of the voters threatened The Gambia’s hard won democratic progress and his decision to step down is a welcome, if overdue, development. I remain troubled by reports that former President Jammeh looted millions of dollars from state coffers before departing the country. Elected leaders who use their positon to enrich themselves at the expense of the people must always be held accountable. 


“I appreciate the mediation efforts of Economic Community of West African States in helping resolve the crisis peacefully, and also appreciate the positive and supportive role United Nations Security Council played in the matter. The United States stands ready to work with President Barrow and the Gambian people as they work toward a more peaceful, prosperous, and democratic future.”