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As Gambia Celebrates a New President, Africa Watches

Things are changing fast in the Gambia but it is almost certain that president Yahya Jammeh's reign is over.

Things are changing quickly in The Gambia right now and across the African continent people are following closely. As of writing, the president elect Adama Barrow has just taken an oath in Gambian embassy in Dakar, while President Yahya Jammeh still refuses to step down despite the cards being stacked against him. Six ministers of his cabinet have already left the country.


According the French radio, RFI the United Nations Security Council unanimously voted for the resolution giving the authorization to the coalition of Senegalese and Nigerian army to overthrow the power of Yahya Jammeh using military forces. A few minutes later the coalition crossed the borders into the Gambia.

Jainaba a Gambian resident in New York told OkayAfrica “We are glad that the new president Barrow was sworn in but I am worried, I have my family there, they are sending us the photos of what’s happening on social media. Let’s hope that Yahya’s army will surrender without any loss of our people's’ life”

Ibrahima Camara, reached in the Gambian capital of Banjul tells OkayAfrica that they are following what’s going on closely. “People are celebrating in the streets here in Banjul. We are aware that the troops of the Economic Community of West African States are heading to Banjul without any resistance of Yahya Jammeh’s army. Since yesterday we have not seen Yahya on TV. Maybe he left.”

In Dakar the foreign diplomats attended the swearing in ceremony of Barrow today, but outside the people were not paying attention a lot on what’s happening now in Gambia; “Right now the many people in Dakar are watching the African Cup of Nations,” Jean, who didn't want his last name used told OkayAfrica from Dakar. “They know well that the Gambian army can’t resist the ECOWAS coalition army. The main topic now here in Dakar is which country is going to offer Yahya Jammeh exile.”

While the president of Tanzania Dr John Pombe Magufuli tweeted; “We will no longer recognize Yahya Jammeh as the president of the Republic of Gambia. We don’t support unjust values & dictatorship”

In East Africa people are also watching intently. Didier Mukaleng Makal Kanteg, a Congolese journalist tells OkayAfrica that in his city of Lubumbashi people are following the situation in Gambia; “we are going in the same situation that Gambians were facing under Yahya Jammeh, especially in our region. The local media are not talking about the situation in Gambia but people here, especially the youth in Lubumbashi, are following the international news from BBC, VOA and RFI. This should be the lesson to our leaders who don’t want to leave power. I salute the courage of the ECOWAS army coalition, the East African Community should had reacted likewise in Burundi… Same here in Congo we saw lots of victims who were protesting against the third term of Kabila… Bravo to the Gambian people”

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Photo by Giles Clarke/UNOCHA via Getty Images

Cameroon Holds Vigil to Remember Children Killed in School Attack

Residents in Kumba paid their respects to the seven lives lost, and those injured during the attack over the weekend.

In the latest tragedy to come from Cameroon's historically violent clash between Anglo and Francophone citizens, seven children were murdered after attackers stormed a school with guns and machetes over the weekend.

In what has been deemed as the "darkest and saddest day," by Bishop Agapitus Nfon of Kumba, armed attackers stormed the Mother Francisca International Bilingual Academy, targeting students aged 9 to 12. The tragic event saw dozens of children injured, some critically.

The attack has shocked the nation, with both local and international agencies condemning the horrible offense. On Monday, Cameroonian President Paul Biya denounced the "horrific murder" of the school children, and alluded to the "appropriate measures" being taken in order to bring justice to the families of the victims. Prime Minister Dion Ngute Joseph shared his condolences via a tweet saying, "I bow before the memory of these innocent kids."

The Cameroonian presidency and governing body have blamed Anglophone 'separatists' for the attack, though the group claims no part in the attack.

Human rights groups, however, have blamed both opposing parties, as the conflict has led to the death of over 3,000 deaths and resulted in more than 700,000 Cameroonians fleeing their homes and the country.

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Interview: Meet Velemseni, Eswatini’s Queen of Soul

Soul artist Velemseni's music reflects Eswatini culture and aesthetics. "The Kingdom of Eswatini is a magical and mysterious place, and my music aims to interpret and document that mystique, drawing from genres like Swazi gospel, soul, African soul, cinematic and traditional music," says the artist.