Yahya Jammeh, the defeated president of The Gambia, is expected to leave the country within a matter of hours.

Adama Barrow, the country's new president told the Associated Press (AP) that Jammeh will travel to Guinea. He added that Jammeh, who once said that he would rule The Gambia for a billion years, will be allowed to return home once it is clear.

"It is not yet confirmed information, but reliable sources are saying he's leaving today," said Barrow. "We believe he'll go to Guinea, but we are waiting to confirm 100%", he added.

Barrow's comments came just hours after Jammeh agreed to cede power in the early hours of Saturday (20 January) after his surprise election defeat in December 2016.

After spending days in neighbouring Senegal, Barrow was inaugurated as president at the Gambian embassy on Thursday (19 January) with the support of the international community. He will return to The Gambia following a security "sweep".

Jammeh has ruled the tiny west African nation since 1994 when he seized power in a coup, but ended the uncertainty after declaring that it was "not necessary that a single drop of blood be shed".

His pledge to relinquish power came after hours of last-ditch mediation efforts from the leaders of Guinea and Mauritania.

Jammeh's previous refusal to transfer power to Barrow had thrown the nation into political turmoil. His term ended at midnight on Wednesday (18 January).

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