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Gambia poll winner Adama Barrow says Jammeh should not seek asylum

Yahya Jammeh is accused of leading a repressive regime

The winner of December’s presidential election in The Gambia says there is no need for President Yahya Jammeh to seek asylum and he is confident direct talks can solve the crisis.

Adama Barrow told the BBC he was confident he would be sworn in next week despite his rival’s refusal to give up power.

Nigeria’s leader is due in Banjul to try and broker an end to the deadlock.

His MPs have voted to offer Mr Jammeh asylum to help negotiations.

Mr Jammeh’s term officially ends next Wednesday, but he wants the results annulled after the electoral commission changed some – though it insists this did not affect the final outcome.

The 51-year-old leader, who initially accepted defeated in the 1 December poll, seized power in the tiny country in 1994 and has been accused of human rights abuses, although he has held regular elections.

The Supreme Court is unable to hear the challenge until May because of a shortage of judges, and Mr Jammeh says he will not step down until then.

Foreign leaders from regional bloc Ecowas, led by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, are due to arrive later on Friday in The Gambia to again try to persuade Mr Jammeh to step down on schedule.

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