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Jammeh Nigeria, Senegal troops ready to force out overstayed Gambia President

Although Gambia's parliament has extended Jammeh's tenure by three months, African forces threaten to move in on the overstayed President.

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Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh play

Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh

(AFP/File)
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The tenure of President Yahya Jammeh of Gambia expired on Wednesday, January 18, but he refused to step down as promised.

Though Gambia's parliament has extended his tenure by three months, African forces comprising of Senegalese, Nigerian and UN troops remain on standby at the Gambia-Senegal border threatening to move in on Jammeh.

"If no political solution is found, we will step in," Col Abdou Ndiaye, a spokesman for the Senegalese military, was quoted by Reuters.

Jammeh's army chief, however, said he will not risk the lives of his men to fight off the allied forces.

"We are not going to involve ourselves militarily. This is a political dispute," Chief of Defence Staff Ousman Badjie said after eating dinner in a tourist district close to the capital Banjul, eyewitnesses told AFP.

"I am not going to involve my soldiers in a stupid fight. I love my men.

"If they (Senegalese) come in, we are here like this," Badjie added, making surrender gesture.

According to witnesses, the situation in Banjul, Gambia's capital was calm overnight but troops have been deployed in the city.

Reports say the UN Security Council is expected to meet on Thursday, January 19, to adopt a statement on West Africa that will reaffirm the demand for Jammeh to hand over power.

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