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Gambia crisis: Senegal troops ‘on alert’ if Jammeh stays on

Senegal’s troops are on alert to intervene in The Gambia if President Yahya Jammeh refuses to step down next month, the regional bloc Ecowas says.

Senegal, which surrounds The Gambia, has been selected to send in forces if the stalemate persists (Picture by AFP)
Senegal, which surrounds The Gambia, has been selected to send in forces if the stalemate persists (Picture by AFP)

Mr Jammeh initially accepted defeat in the 1 December poll, but later said it was flawed.

The Ecowas chairman said Senegal had been chosen to lead operations “to restore the people’s wishes” if needed.

President Jammeh has already said he will not be intimidated, saying Ecowas had no authority to interfere.

Mr Jammeh, who has ruled for 22 years, has lodged a case before the Supreme Court to annul the vote after the electoral commission changed some results.

The commission insists the outcome was not affected by an initial error and that property developer Adama Barrow won the poll and should be inaugurated on 19 January.

Marcel Alain de Souza, chairman of the Ecowas commission, said Mr Jammeh had until that date to comply with its mediators.

“If he is not going, we have stand-by forces already alerted and these stand-by forces have to be able to intervene to restore the people’s wish,” he said.

The Gambia, a former British colony, is surrounded on three sides by Senegal.

“Senegal has been selected by its peers to lead the operations but we do not wish to start a conflict,” Mr de Souza said.

“If he loves his people, he has to be able to negotiate an exit door calmly. If it doesn’t happen, the most radical means will be used.”

The BBC’s Umaru Fofana, who has been reporting from The Gambia, says Mr Jammeh’s defiant comments earlier this week make it clear that Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, appointed chief mediator by Ecowas, has a fine line to tread.

Mr Jammeh said that although he was a “man of peace”, that did not mean he would not defend himself and the country “courageously, patriotically and win”.

The stalemate is already taking a huge toll on the economy of the small West African country, which is popular with tourists, with the Chamber of Commerce saying businesses have been badly affected, our reporter says.

The Supreme Court says it will hear a case brought by Mr Jammeh’s party to cancel the result on 10 January.

President Jammeh, 51, seized power in 1994 and has been accused of human rights abuses, although he has held regular elections. The Gambia has not had a smooth transfer of power since independence from Britain in 1965.

According to the electoral commission’s final count:

  • Mr Barrow won 222,708 votes (43.3%)
  • President Jammeh took 208,487 (39.6%)
  • A third-party candidate, Mama Kandeh, won 89,768 (17.1%)

Results were revised by the electoral commission on 5 December, when it emerged that the ballots for one area had been added incorrectly. BBC News

  • Take him out it wont take 3 days

  • Yatova hondo iyo Munoti angabve nekutaura Huku inodya mazai mukasaipisa muromo hairege

  • Ezve ndizvo zvinonzi muvakidzani ,not vana Moza nana Joni

  • batai munhu

  • Guys take him out by force. Otherwise Africa can not go anywhere with these dictators, Already many more seem to follow the same attitude of not wanting to leave. He must go coz he lost. You can’t force people when they say no.

  • Kill him

  • But who’s behind this dictator mind????

    • josefa chinotimba

      Of course it’s Robert Mugabe!

  • Good attitude. Teach him a lesson that Gambia is not his personal property, but rather belongs to the people.

  • Gambia must be free from this dictator!

  • That bustard loser must be removed violently.

  • Pamberi nenhamo!

    I love these West Africans – very proactive. Ecowas is very different from SADC. SADC its quiet diplomacy, quiet diplomacy while Mugabe murders, rapes, steals elections and burns his country they are just indifferent. On the other hand Ecowas brooks no nonsense from anybody. This reminds me of Gabgo in Cote D’ivoire and now Jammeh will face the same fate. Wait and see.

  • same genes these dictators kill the fucker if he fails to vacate office

  • We also nid u here, we have another who is worse than satan

  • Thats good ngaabve uyoo

  • Good luck in dealing with this moron ex president

  • Now Africa is talking and acting. Keep it up Senegal. Take that bastard down.

  • Go and smoke that lunatic. We are tired of bomboclat presidents

  • That Dictator should go and meet 72 virgins.Kabila next, then…….

  • Let them kill this satanic dictator

  • josefa chinotimba

    Good riddance Ecowas,not this idiotic organisation called Sadc,shame!

  • Yes that is good we are sick and tired of these dictators.

  • Kill him b4 the days come on shoot him straight

  • Thats the spirit if someone doesn’t understand the cries of the nation, take him down by force, those are the type of soldiers we want in Zimbabwe.

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  • Batai munhu!!!

  • big

    Very commendable stance by ECOWAZ. SADC should take a cue from that move. Kwete zvekungoprotectana zvatinoona. Only one man in SADC is reasonable and he goes by the name of Ian Khama, but what can he do if the so called powerful leaders in the region always cower before Mugabe.

  • Ecowas is good organisation SADC is useless