(CNN)Gambia’s new president Adama Barrow told CNN that he intends to go home “within a week” now that ousted long-term president Yahya Jammeh has finally left the country after a tense standoff.
Gambians ‘just want to get on with it’
After weeks of turmoil and uncertainty, Gambians are looking forward to getting the country “back on track,” according to one human rights campaigner. Jeffrey Smith is the executive director of Vanguard Africa, a nonprofit organization that provides support to pro-reform political candidates and backed Barrow’s campaign. Smith told CNN: “The priority right now is getting the country back on track. Gambians just want to get on with building the country back up again.” Smith, an American based in Washington, DC, has been widely thanked via social media by Gambians who credit him with playing a key role in highlighting the situation in the country before and since the election.
@Smith_JeffreyT thank you for all your hard work Jeffrey Smith!You have been a true friend of The Gambia ??
— **MC** (@linguere23) December 4, 2016
Smith said the reaction to his work — which has seen him quoted by major international media outlets including in Spain, Nigeria, and the US — “has been humbling, to be quite honest.” “All credit entirely goes to the Gambian people — they never gave up hope that change was possible. That’s what inspired me.”