Celebrations erupts in the streets of Banjul, after presidential elections results released showing Gambia would have a new president, one Adama Barrow.
Celebrations erupted in the streets of Banjul, after presidential elections results were released showing Gambia would have a new president.
Gambians shouted: "We are free. We won't be slaves of anyone." Some waving the Gambian flag and opposition party signs.
For 22 years, Gambia had been ruled by Yahya Jammeh, an authoritarian who ruthlessly crushed his critics with prison time, torture and all manner of human rights abuses.
Jammeh who describes himself as, His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya Abdul-Aziz Awal Jemus Junkung Jammeh Naasiru Deen Babili Mansa and the Commander In Chief of The Armed Forces and Chief Custodian of the Sacred Constitution of the Gambia.
On 16 June 2015, a statement from the State House stated that President Jammeh should be addressed as "His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh Babili Mansa". The title Babili Mansa, which the President decided to drop in December 2014, is a phrase in the Mandinka language that could be translated as either "Chief Bridge Builder" or "Conqueror of Rivers".
Jammeh had once vowed to rule the tiny West African nation for "a billion years".
In a rare twist of events, the authoritarian leader announced he had accepted his shock election defeat on Friday.
In an address broadcast by Gambian state-owned radio on Thursday evening, Jammeh said he would not contest the poll results showing opposition candidate Adama Barrow had won, which had been announced earlier in the day.
"If (Barrow) wants to work with us also, I have no problem with that. I will help him work towards the transition," Jammeh said.
Official results from the electoral commission head gave Barrow, a real estate developer who once worked as a security guard at retailer Argos in London, 45.5 percent of the vote against Jammeh's 36.7 percent.
"African heads of state if they are defeated should take the example of Jammeh by leaving office honourably," said teacher Lamin Joof, celebrating in Banjul as quoted by the Star.
"I never in my dreams believed he would concede. It almost feels to good to be true," said Ramzia Diab, an opposition member who fled to Senegal after getting death threats.
Yahya Jammeh said he plans to move to his farm after leaving office following a handover in January.