BANJUL, Gambia, Jan 17 – An eight-year-old son of The Gambia’s president-elect Adama Barrow has died after being bitten by dogs, a family source said Monday, days before his contested inauguration.
Barrow, who is in Senegal, is scheduled to be sworn in on Thursday, but President Yahya Jammeh has declared he will not step down by then.
“President-elect Barrow’s son, Habibou, died yesterday evening (Sunday) after he was bitten by dogs,” the family source said.
Habibou was one of 51-year-old Barrow’s five children.
The boy was “buried this afternoon (Monday) in the cemetery in Kanifing,” a suburb of the capital Banjul, watched by “several hundred sympathisers”.
No further details were available from Barrow himself or his entourage about the circumstances of the death.
The small West African country has been plunged into political turmoil since Jammeh disputed Barrow’s December election victory and refused to cede power.
Leaders of neighbouring countries and the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) have repeatedly called on the long-serving strongman to leave office peacefully, so far to no avail.
Barrow’s spokesman on Sunday insisted he would be sworn in as planned on Thursday. Until then he plans to stay in Senegal, where he arrived at the weekend after attending an African summit in Bamako.