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Barrow strikes out the word “Islamic” from Gambia’s official name

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Barrow strikes out the word "Islamic" from Gambia's official name

Gambia‘s new leader Adama Barrow has moved to remove the word “Islamic” from the country’s official name which was added in 2015 by exiled former leader Yahya Jammeh.

Barrow made the announcement while speaking at his first news conference since returning to take office on Thursday as he moves to make wholesale changes vowing to reform the country’s notorious intelligence agency and promised to ensure media freedom in the country.

Read also: Jubilant Gambians welcome President Barrow back

“The country’s official name will no longer contain the word “Islamic”, which had been added by Jammeh in 2015. Gambia whose population is 90 percent Muslim, with the rest Christian and animist, is a republic “not the Islamic republic”. Barrow said.

He also announced plans to rename the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), a dreaded secret police accused by rights groups of forced disappearances and torture under the control of former leader Jammeh.

Barrow told reporters on Saturday the NIA was “an institution that has to continue”, but with a different name.

“The rule of the law, that will be the order of the day,” he said, adding that training would be given to NIA’s operatives.

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