Gambia Crisis: Troops From Senegal, Ghana and Nigeria Enter Gambia Battle Ready
Battle-ready troops from Senegal, Ghana and Nigeria have entered The Gambia in support of Gambian president-elect Adama Barrow.
Barrow was sworn in as president on Thursday at the Gambian Embassy in the Senegalese capital, Dakar.
He took the oath of office, weeks after winning last month’s presidential election and has been now recognized internationally as Gambia’s president.
Adamant incumbent president, Yahya Jammeh, has however, refused to vacate the seat of power even after losing to Barrow and conceding defeat earlier.
West African leaders have threatened to, if necessary, remove Jammeh from office by force in a bid to resolve the present Gambia crisis.
The 15-member UN Security Council has given the ECOWAS joint forces its backing, stressing that a political solution should first be sought.
Meanwhile, as part of the mission, the Nigerian government deployed reconnaissance aircraft over The Gambia on Thursday warning that it was ready to strike militarily.
The popular tourism and holiday destination counntry has been faced by political uncertainty for weeks.
Thousands of Gambians have sought refuge in Senegal while tourists cut short their holidays to return home.
A few supporters of Mr. Barrow have come out, although timidly, to celebrate his inauguration.
Some of them were reportedly seen chanting the name of Mr Barrow or waving at the cars driving by.
Troops From Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria To Resolve Gambia Crisis
According to reports from the BBC, it appears there are signs that parts of the security forces may switch sides.
A convoy of heavily armed, battle-ready Senegalese troops could be seen heading for the Gambian border.
They are backed by Nigerian air and naval power, as well as other troops from Ghana.
Col Abdou Ndiaye, Senegalese army spokesman, who spoke to the BBC stated that the troops had encountered no resistance and were heading for Banjul.
He, however, warned:
“It is already war. If we find any resistance, we will fight it. If there are people who are fighting for the former president, we will fight them.
“The main goal is to restore democracy and to allow the new elected president to take over.”
Reacting to the situation, Gambian army chief, Ousman Badjie said his troops would not fight Senegalese forces because the dispute was “political”.
“I am not going to involve my soldiers in a stupid fight.
“I love my men.”