Gambia's new President Adama Barrow to be officially inaugurated today


A special envoy of Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend the inauguration ceremony of Gambian President Adama Barrow and Gambia's independence day celebration in Banjul, on February 18.

Several heads of state were scheduled to attend the ceremony for President Adama Barrow.

Mr Barrow was sworn in last month at a ceremony at the Gambian embassy in neighbouring Senegal. Yahya Jammeh eventually stepped down under pressure from ECOWAS and the AU, and is in exile in Equatorial Guinea.

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The new president, who has just turned 52 and was born the year that Gambia gained independence, has pledged to reverse numerous actions Mr Jammeh took during more than two decades of power.

Barrow has pledged to reverse many of Jammeh's actions and has committed to stay in the International Criminal Court and rejoin the Commonwealth.

The worldwide community has quickly warmed to Barrow's approach, with the European Union recently announcing $80 million package of support after breaking off assistance amid tensions with Jammeh.

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Ma Peihua, vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), will be the special envoy, said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang at a press briefing.

Jammeh led Gambia for more than two decades.

President Akufo-Addo is expected to return later on Saturday.

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Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz was to attend, another key mediator during the nation's crisis, along with US Assistant Secretary of State Linda Thomas-Greenfield, in a sign of efforts to reset ties with the West.