Africa

Gambia awaits new leader, but exiled one has right to return

  • Gambia's defeated leader Yahya Jammeh departs at Banjul airport Saturday Jan. 21, 2017. Jammeh announced early Saturday he has decided to relinquish power, after hours of last-ditch talks with regional leaders and the threat by a regional military force to make him leave. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

    Gambia's defeated leader Yahya Jammeh departs at Banjul airport Saturday Jan. 21, 2017. Jammeh announced early Saturday he has decided to relinquish power, after hours of last-ditch talks with regional leaders and the threat by a regional military force to make him leave. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this image taken from video, Gambia's new president Adama Barrow talks during an interview with The Associated Press in Dakar, Senegal, Saturday Jan. 21, 2017, just hours after Yahya Jammeh agreed to step down from office.   Barrow said Saturday that he will launch a truth and reconciliation commission to investigate the alleged human rights abuses of Yahya Jammeh's 22-year regime. (AP Photo)

    In this image taken from video, Gambia's new president Adama Barrow talks during an interview with The Associated Press in Dakar, Senegal, Saturday Jan. 21, 2017, just hours after Yahya Jammeh agreed to step down from office. Barrow said Saturday that he will launch a truth and reconciliation commission to investigate the alleged human rights abuses of Yahya Jammeh's 22-year regime. (AP Photo)  (The Associated Press)

  • A ferry bringing back people who fled arrives at the port in Banjul, Gambia as it reopens Saturday Jan. 21, 2017. life slowly returns to the Gambian capital as Gambia's defeated leader Yahya Jammeh announced early Saturday he has decided to relinquish power, after hours of last-ditch talks with regional leaders and the threat by a regional military force to make him leave.AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

    A ferry bringing back people who fled arrives at the port in Banjul, Gambia as it reopens Saturday Jan. 21, 2017. life slowly returns to the Gambian capital as Gambia's defeated leader Yahya Jammeh announced early Saturday he has decided to relinquish power, after hours of last-ditch talks with regional leaders and the threat by a regional military force to make him leave.AP Photo/Jerome Delay)  (The Associated Press)

Gambia's capital is awaiting the arrival of the country's new leader and an era of democracy, hours after the authoritarian ruler flew of 22 years flew into exile with an extraordinary set of assurances from the international community.

Even as new President Adama Barrow remained in neighboring Senegal on Sunday awaiting a triumphant return after a whirlwind political crisis, former leader Yahya Jammeh is guaranteed the right to come home.

A joint declaration issued shortly after Jammeh left by the United Nations, African Union and West African regional bloc says the bodies will work with Barrow's government to make sure Jammeh, his family and his close associates are not the target of punishment.

Jammeh was last seen flying toward Equatorial Guinea.

A regional military force is securing Gambia's capital, Banjul.