Barrow Requests ECOWAS To Keep Troops In The Gambia For Six Months

 Vincent Ikuomola

Barrow asks ECOWAS to keep troops in The Gambia for six months


•Gambia parliament revokes emergency rule

Gambian President Adama Barrow has requested that troops of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) should remain in his country for the next six months.
ECOWAS Commission President Marcel Alain de Souza, who revealed this yesterday in Abuja, said Barrow would go back to his country from Senegal as soon as it was convenient.
He said the regional body was doing everything possible to ensure that Barrow return to his country.
“He will go when he is sure that the country is safe for him,” de Souza said.
He noted that the ECOWAS force must be sure that there is no stockpiling of arms.
Barrow, according to the president of ECOWAS Commission, also requested that sufficient force be on ground for the next six months.
On the request of amnesty by former President Yahya Jammeh, de-Souza said it was yet to be approved by ECOWAS, African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN).
He explained that such a request must get the nod of these bodies before it can be granted, stressing that the blanket request of the former president, which includes his family members, supporters and aides would have to follow UN procedures.
The ECOWAS Commission boss hinted that the former strongman might not get all what he requested for, as he cannot be guaranteed anything outside what any other citizen in the country gets.
He stressed that the constitution and the laws would have to be enforced as the UN, AU and ECOWAS have to validate his request.
The ECOWAS has told President Barrow not to witch-hunt his predecessor.
The regional body advised that the issue of unifying and rebuilding of the country should be paramount.
Also yesterday, the Gambian National Assembly revoked a state of emergency declared by Jammeh in an attempt to stay in power. (The Nation)

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Jammeh Leaves Banjul Today, ECOWAS Forces Await Briefing |The Republican News


Jammeh leaves Banjul today, ECOWAS forces await briefing


Gambia’s former president, Yahya Jammeh will now leave Banjul on Saturday with President Alpha Conde of Guinea, to begin a new life in exile.

This followed Friday’s final peace move by Conde and Mauritania’s President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz.

The two West African leaders travelled to Banjul to persuade the long ruling Jammeh to leave peacefully before West African forces pounced on him.

In a statement issued on state TV on Friday night, Jammeh announced that he was stepping down, a superfluous announcement as he was already no more the leader, having been denied recognition by the world.

All indications are that Jammeh will be going into exile in Guinea.

A senior adviser to new President Adama Barrow said talks to finalise the exile deal were holding up his exit.

“I can assure you that he has agreed to leave,” Mai Ahmad Fatty, Barrow’s special advisor, said in Senegal’s capital Dakar. He could not say where Jammeh would go into exile.

President of The Gambia, Adama Barrow had earlier confirmed Yahya Jammeh’s stepping down.

Barrow, on his twitter handle on Friday, @adama_barrow said: “I would like to inform you that Yahya Jammeh has agreed to step down.

“He is scheduled to depart Gambia today. #NewGambia.”

Barrow on Thursday took the oath of office as Gambia’s new president.

He was sworn-in about 5p.m. Senegalese time at the Gambian High Commission in Dakar, Senegal.

Barrow succeeded Yahya Jammeh, who lost in the Dec. 1 presidential election and refused to vacate office when his term expired midnight on Thursday.

Gambia’s Chief of Defence, Ousman Badjie, on Friday pledged loyalty to President Barrow.

“West African troops that crossed from neighbouring Senegal into Gambia to help unseat Jammeh would be welcomed “with a cup of tea,’’ said Badjie.

ECOWAS armies halted Operation Restore Democracy aimed at installing the country’s new president, Adama Barrow, on Thursday so regional leaders could make one last attempt to convince long-time ruler Yahya Jammeh to step aside.

In Dakar, the Nigerian force Commander, Operation Restore Democracy, Air Commodore Tajudeen Yusuf, said the ECOWAS forces would not let down their guard, inspite of negotiations for the former Gambian president, Alhaji Yahaya Jammeh to leave office.

He said the troops were awaiting briefing by the political leaders.

Yusuf made the statement while briefing newsmen in Dakar, on Friday.

“”Even if he quits we are not letting down our guard, our mandate is to restore peace in Gambia.

“”We have been on standby, and the troops are still on a very high alert, depending on the outcome of political negotiations.

“”We are not letting down our guard; our mandate is to restore democracy in Gambia,’’ Yusuf said.

Yusuf added that the mandate given to them was to restore peace and nothing else.

He promised to carry out his responsibilities professionally while waiting for further directive from the political masters.

Jammeh, in power since a 1994 coup, initially conceded defeat to Barrow following a Dec. 1 election before back-tracking, saying the vote was flawed.. (NAN)

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