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Props Of The Week When ECOWAS force jammed Jammeh

The efforts of the West African joint military force set up by ECOWAS to force defeated dictator Yahya Jammeh out of office makes Pulse prop of the week.

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Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has been told to stand down after 22 years in power play

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has been told to stand down after 22 years in power

(AFP/File)

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When news of the Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS) setting up a joint military force dubbed Operation Restore Democracy to force former Gambian dictator, Yahya Jammeh out and make sure the winner of the country’s presidential, Adama Barrow is sworn in, not a few people rose with pride at the initiative.

Before then, all efforts, pleas, and cajoling by leaders in the sub-region led by President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria to plead with Jammeh to relinquish power had proven abortive, hence the need to use force to push him out.

ALSO READ: “Jammeh: Nigeria, Senegal troops ready to force out overstayed Gambia President”

Troops from countries like Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana, Togo, and Mali had gathered in Senegal waiting for January 19, 2017, the date set aside for Barrow to be sworn-in in absentia and on the date, Barrow was sworn in with no bloodshed as against rumours that Jammeh’s military of roughly 1,200 men were ready to dare the daring West Africa force.

Explaining the decision of ECOWAS to set up the regional force, Marcel de Souza, head of the ECOWAS commission said a total of 7,000 troops would be involved in the operation.

Troops had already entered Gambia from the southeast, southwest, and north and little did Jammeh know that his soldiers were not willing to fire a shot against the superior force of ECOWAS.

Yahya Jameh play

Yahya Jameh

(Gainako)

 

The Army chief, General Ousman Badjie, who had publicly stood by Jammeh, had earlier declared that he would not risk any of his men to defend the stubborn dictator.

So when Barrow took the oath of office at the Gambia's embassy in Senegal, calling for international support from West Africa bloc, the African Union, and the United Nations, Gambians take to the streets in jubilations.

During his inauguration speech, Barrow appealed to ECOWAS, the African Union and the United Nations for support for his government and Gambia's people.

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

An empty street in Banjul on January 20, 2017, a day after the swearing in of the country's new president play

An empty street in Banjul on January 20, 2017, a day after the swearing in of the country's new president

(AFP)

 

Though, the West African armies have halted an operation in Gambia aimed at installing the country's new president so regional leaders could make one last attempt to convince Jammeh to step aside, the transition went on smoothly, no thanks to the fear instilled in Jammeh who turned out to be a coward after all.

Jammeh who had been in power since a 1994 coup, initially conceded defeat to Barrow following the December 1, 2016, election before back-tracking, saying the vote was flawed.

Adama Barrow being sworn-in as The Gambia president in Dakar, Senegal play

Adama Barrow being sworn-in as The Gambia president in Dakar, Senegal

(TheCable)

 

ALSO READ: “In Senegal: Government asks UN to back ECOWAS action in Gambia”

It is unclear what Jammeh's next move would be after he had ignored offers from countries like Nigeria, Morocco, and Mauritania to be given asylum, now facing almost total diplomatic isolation.

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