The stage seems set for the forceful sack of President Yahya Jammeh of The Gambia by the combined forces of the ECOWAS region, led by Senegal and Nigeria.
Early signals to that effect emerged Wednesday as Senegalese authorities announced their readiness to storm Banjul mid-night Wednesday to force out Jammeh if he refuses to quit, having reneged on promises to leave power after losing the December presidential elections in the country.
“Our troops are on alert… The ultimatum takes effect at midnight…If a political solution fails, we will engage,” a Senegalese army source reportedly told members of the international media on Wednesday.
The Nigerian military lent further weight to what might be in the offing for Jammeh as it also confirmed on Wednesday that its troops were already on ground in Senegal to enforce the position of West African leaders that the troubled helmsman must quit on due date, January 20.
The Nigerian Air Force, in a statement credited to its spokesman, Ayodele Famuyiwa, said, “The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has deployed to Senegal as part of Nigerian contingent of Economic Community of West African States Military Intervention in Gambia (ECOMIG) – a standby force tasked by ECOWAS Heads of State to enforce the December 1, 2016 election mandate in the The Gambia.
“The NAF today moved a contingent of 200 men and air assets comprising fighter jets, transport aircraft, Light Utility Helicopter as well as Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance aircraft to Dakar from where it is expected to operate into Gambia,” he added.
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