Gambia's former President Yahya Jammeh,
a vocal opponent of LGBT rights, on Saturday boarded a plane to
Guinea after conceding defeat.
Jammeh initially accepted the results
of the December 1 election and reportedly called opposition candidate
Adama Barrow to concede. But within days he called for new
elections, claiming voting irregularities.
Jammeh, who took power in a 1994
military coup and has a long history of homophobic remarks, said in a
television address that he had decided “in good conscience to
relinquish the mantle of leadership of this great nation with
infinite gratitude to all Gambians.”
BBC reported that Jammeh's reversal came after talking with the
presidents of Guinea and Mauritania.
Jammeh told the nation that it was “not
necessary that a single drop of blood be shed.”
A swearing in ceremony at the Gambian
embassy in neighboring Senegal was held Thursday for President Adama
Jammeh had repeatedly threatened the
lives of gay men living in Gambia.
“If you do it [in Gambia], I will
slit your throat. If you are a man and want to marry another man in
this country and we catch you, no one will ever set eyes on you
again, and no white person can do anything about it,” he said in
Barrow's views on LGBT rights are not