PHOTOS: Gambia's Yahya Jammeh Cedes Power, Flies Into Exile After 22-Year Rule, Arrives Conakry

Defeated Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh flew into exile Saturday night, ending 22 years of strong-arm rule and a political stalemate that brought the West African nation to the brink of a regional military intervention.

Jammeh refused to step down after a December 1 election in which Barrow was declared the winner, triggering weeks of uncertainty that almost ended in a military intervention involving five other west African nations.

The longtime leader, wearing his habitual white flowing robes, waved to supporters before boarding a small, unmarked plane at Banjul airport alongside Guinea's President Alpha Conde after two days of talks over a departure deal.
He landed in Conakry, Guinea's capital but set off again for Equatorial Guinea, where he will remain in exile, the president of the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS), Marcel Alain de Souza, said at a Dakar press conference.

"No legislative measures" would be taken that would infringe the "dignity, security, safety and rights" of Jammeh or his family, ECOWAS said in a joint declaration with the African Union and United Nations.

The departure opened the way for the transfer of power to Adama Barrow, who won the presidency seven weeks ago. Barrow, who was sworn in Thursday at Gambia's embassy in neighboring Senegal, was now expected to return home.

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