Gambia’s President Adama Barrow has returned to the country to assume power – days after his predecessor Yahya Jammeh left to go into exile.
President Barrow’s plane touched down at Banjul airport where jubilant crowds waited to welcome him.
Mr Barrow, who has been in neighbouring Senegal, won elections in December.
However a handover was stalled when Mr Jammeh, Gambia’s president of 22 years, refused to step aside.
He left for exile at the weekend after mediation by regional leaders and the threat of military intervention.
Mr Barrow, dressed in white robes and a cap, stepped off the plane in Banjul as heavily armed troops from Senegal and Nigeria stood by.
Overhead, a fighter jet from the West African force guaranteeing the new president’s security performed fly-pasts.
“I am a happy man today,” Mr Barrow told a reporter from the Associated Press in the crush at the airport, adding: “I think the bad part is finished now.”
The president said his priority was to appoint his cabinet and “then get the ball rolling”.
The BBC’s Umaru Fofana in Banjul said that thousands of people had tried to force their way into the airport to see Mr Barrow return and they burst into celebration as soon as his plane touched down.
President Barrow was driven from the airport in a convoy of cars and waved to the crowds who lined the route.