US advises its citizens to leave Gambia amid rising tension over Jammeh refusal to step down

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The US embassy in The Gambia has advised US citizens to leave the country amid tension over whether President Yahya Jammeh will step down later this month, the BBC has been told.

Jeffrey Smith, a Gambia-focused analyst, says the advice was given during a town hall-style meeting with the ambassador earlier today:


 


The Gambia is tense and heading towards a constitutional crisis following the refusal of President Yayha Jammeh to step down after he was defeated in the 1 December election by opposition candidate Amana Barrow.

Mr Jammeh had initially conceded and congratulated Mr Barrow but he went back on his word by claiming there had been fraud in the election.

His party has since submitted a challenge of the results at the Supreme Court.

The west African regional body Ecowas has warned that it would use force if Mr Jammeh does not leave office at the end of his term on 18 January.
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