ECOWAS army chiefs meet over The Gambia steps up preparation for a possible military action

ECOWAS army chiefs meet over The Gambia
ECOWAS army chiefs meet over The Gambia

Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin, on Saturday hosted colleagues from other West African countries as Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) steps up preparation for a possible military action in the Gambia.

The military chiefs’ meeting, held at the Defence Headquarters in Abuja, as part of the move force Jammeh out should such a need arise.

The tenure of outgoing President Yahya Jammeh ends on Thursday when President-elect Adama Barrow is due to take office, but Jammeh has refused to quit power despite losing the December 1, 2016 election.

 Gen. Olonisakin expressed the readiness of regional leaders and military commanders to continue the pursuit of dialogue with the political leaders of The Gambia to ensure peaceful transition of power.

A statement on the website of the Defence headquarters listed those who attended the meeting as Chairperson of ECOWAS Chiefs of Defence Staff, Brig Gen.  Daniel Ziankahn (Liberia); CH Gueye of Senegal; ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Hajiya Salamatu; Vice President of the Commission; the Ghanaian Chief of Defence Staff and principal staff officers from Defence, Army, Navy, and Air Force headquarters.

The United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) said ECOWAS had decided to take all necessary actions to enforce the results of the Dec. 1, 2016 presidential election .

The AU’s Peace and Security Council said in a statement the organisation will no longer recognise Mr Jammeh as president once his term ends. It warned of “serious consequences in the event that his action causes any crisis that could lead to political disorder [and] humanitarian and human rights disaster”.

Head of UNOWAS Mohamed Ibn Chambas, who is also the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-Genera, told the UN Security Council that “some countries in the region had witnessed political uncertainty or significant security challenges.

Source The Nation

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