ECOWAS defence chiefs meet, prepare for military action in Gambia

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Nigerian Chief of Defence Staff, Abayomi Olonisakin, on Saturday hosted colleagues from other West African countries as ECOWAS steps up preparation for a possible military action in the Gambia.

The meeting, held at the Defence Headquarters in Abuja, was part of the preparation for the inauguration of an Ecowas Military Intervention Group (ECOMIG) for the small West African country should President Yahya Jammeh makes real his threat not to step down when his tenure expires on January 19.

Mr. Jammeh lost the December 1 2016 election to Adama Barrow of the opposition.

While welcoming the participants and ECOWAS officials to Nigeria, Mr. Olonisakin, a General, expressed the readiness of regional leaders and military commanders to continue the pursuit of dialogue with the political leaders of Gambia and ensure peaceful transition of power in accordance with the Gambian’s constitution and the peoples will.

A source close to the meeting told PREMIUM TIMES that a decision was taken that the defence chiefs should return to their various countries to prepare troops for possible deployment in Gambia.

A statement published on the website of the Defence Headquarters listed notable
dignitaries at the event to include the chairperson of ECOWAS Chief of Defence Staffs, Daniel Ziankahn of Liberia (Brigadier General); CH Gueye of Senegal; ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Hajiya Salamatu; Vice President of the Commission; the Ghanian Chief of Defence Staff and principal staff officers from Defence, Army, Navy, and Air Force headquarters.

No communique was issued at the end of the meeting, which held just as ECOWAS vowed to take all necessary actions to enforce the will of the Gambian people.

The UN 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 in the Gambia.

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Source: PREMIUM TIMES
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