Last warning to Jammeh as ECOWAS troops suspend Gambia operation

ECOWAS military troops have announced a halt on their march into Gambia yesterday.

The halt was initiated by leaders of the respective formations that make up the battalions.

The plan was Thursday to give former president Yahya Jammeh, one more last chance to leave Banjul.

Jammeh has up until noon to leave, in the new deadline given by ECOWAS, the West African regional bloc.

If he fails to do so, the troops under Operation Restore Democracy will continue their march into the capital.

There was no resistance by Gambian troops at the border when the West African soldiers entered Thursday.

Read Also: Buhari offers Yahaya Jammeh asylum in Nigeria

One source monitoring the operations said Gambian “Troops in Farafenni refused to fight.

“They opened the border for ECOWAS troops to enter freely. No loss of lives down that end”.

Gambia’s new President Adama Barrow took the oath of office on Thursday at Gambia’s embassy in Dakar Senegal.

He called for international support from West Africa’s ECOWAS bloc, the African Union, and the United Nations.

“This is a day no Gambian will ever forget. Our national flag will now fly high among the most democratic nations of the world.”

Read Also: EXCLUSIVE: IDP camp jet fighter attack was an insider job

The support he canvassed for was quickly backed by the United Nations Security Council.

Thereafter, the regional military force launched an intervention effort.

ECOWAS will send a team led by Guinea’s president, Alpha Conde, and including the presidents of Liberia and Mauritania to Banjul on Friday.

If the mission succeeds, Jammeh will travel to Guinea before choosing a country of exile.

“It’s out of the question that he stays in place.

“We propose that he leaves in an honorable manner and with respect,” said de Souza.

Read Also: FOREX: Black market sale of dollars will crash soon – Kemi

It was unclear what Jammeh’s next move would be. He has so far ignored pressure to step aside and offers of exile.

A total of 7,000 troops from Senegal, Nigeria, Ghana, Togo and Mali are involved in the operation.

Troops had already entered Gambia from the southeast, southwest, and north before they were ordered to stop.

The advance will resume at noon (1200 GMT) on Friday if Jammeh still refused to leave.

Thereafter, President Barrow will return to Gambia once the operation is over.

Following Barrow’s swearing in, hundreds of Gambians celebrated in the streets of Banjul, the capital.

Read Also: Why vice president Osinbajo is living in a rented house

Only a few persons celebrated at first. The numbers gradually grew as they realized security forces looking on were not going to open fire.

Army chief General Ousman Badjie, who had publicly stood by Jammeh, was seen smiling on the streets.

He was seen wading through a mass of jubilant Banjul residents shouting and dancing.

Cars raced up and down the highway lined with iron-roofed shops in the pro-Barrow Serrekunda district of Banjul.