Former leader of The Gambia leaves country following threat of military intervention

Yahya Jammeh's successor Adama Barrow was sworn in as president at the country's embassy in Senegal

Former leader of The Gambia leaves country following threat of military intervention

Gambia's defeated leader Yahya Jammeh waves to supporters as he departs from Banjul airport. Picture by Jerome Delay AP/Press Association Images

The Gambia's former leader has left the country for Equatorial Guinea, after finally agreeing to step down from office.

In recent weeks Yahya Jammeh had been refusing to hand over power, despite losing an election in December.

Military forces from neighbouring countries threatened to intervene, while the UN Security Council had backed efforts by the west African bloc of nations - ECOWAS - to remove Jammeh from power by force.

Jammeh had been in charge of the country since 1994, having seized power during a military coup.

He was elected president in 1996, and had been re-elected several times before last year's vote.

Although the former president enjoyed plenty of support, he also faced criticism for alleged human rights abuses and restrictions on freedom of speech

Amid the unrest in The Gambia, Jammeh's successor Adama Barrow was sworn in as president at the country's embassy in neigbouring Senegal.

He is due to return to The Gambia in the coming days to take office.

The Department of Foreign Affairs here is still advising Irish people to avoid non-essential travel to the country.