Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh, who once vowed to rule the tiny West African nation for ''a billion years'', said he had accepted his shock election defeat on Friday. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION). STORY: Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh, who once vowed to rule the tiny West African nation for "a billion years", said he had accepted his shock election defeat on Friday, 22 years after seizing power in a coup. Voting on Thursday against Jammeh was a rare show of defiance against a leader who has ruled by decree and who rights groups say crushes dissent by imprisoning and torturing opponents. In an addressto the nation, Jammeh said he would not contest the poll results showing opposition candidate Adama Barrow had won, which had been announced earlier in the day. "I will help him work towards the transition," Jammeh said. "One thing we should avoid in this country is ethnic conflict, we have seen ethnic conflict, the devastating effect of ethnic conflict, we have seen in in Rwanda, we have seen it in Central African Republic," he said. "Let us love each other." A peaceful handover of power in Gambia would be a welcome surprise for African democracy at a time when many of the continent's leaders have been rigging polls, fiddling with constitutions to extend their terms in office and cracking down on peaceful protest.