The Gambia: War imminent as Jammeh has few hours grace to step down

The Gambia: War imminent as Jammeh has few hours grace to step down

There is the possibility of war in The Gambia today as the 15 member United Nations Security Council is fully in support of the military action to be staged by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to compel outgone President Yahya Jammeh out of office.

The ECOWAS troops through Senegal have already entered The Gambia and have been reported to have encountered no resistance from the country. The troops have insisted that if they find any resistance there will be war. But Adama Barrow, the newly sworn in president has told the country’s military to stay off saying if any be found faulty, such will be treated as rebel.

Nigeria is the country championing the fight to force Jammeh out of office. President Muhammdu Buhari has been the leader of the delegation to negotiate with Jammeh on his stepping down but all pleas seems to have failed. Nigeria’s military have been mobilized and fighter jets have flown into the country. The Nigerian navy and Airforce are also joining the army in The Gambia.

The Gambia

Nigeria troops leaving for The Gambia

Jammeh was initially given 12 midnight on Tuesday to step down as the new president would be sworn in on Wednesday but he failed to do so. While he remained defiant to the demands of ECOWAS, African Union and the United Nations, the ECOWAS troops stationed in Senegal have moved into The Gambia and are waiting for the last command to throw him out of office.

READ ALSO: BREAKING: Troops close in on Gambia as Jammeh is given last chance (Video)

All nations of the world have derecognized him as president of a country in Africa. His presidency after 22 years expired on Tuesday night. From then, he is no more president. Although the National Assembly of The Gambia gave him three months extension following his emergency declaration, as it is now the world powers and the ECOWAS are not in support of the decision of the nation’s national assembly.

He has lost support of all security agencies in the country. The army, the navy and other forces have denounced him, calling on him to step down as his tenure as president has expired. Also, his wife and children, it was learnt, have deserted him and fled the country. His Vice President has also left his camp, insisting that Jammeh must come down and get derobed.

The Gambia

Yahya Jammeh and Adama Barrow

But Jammeh seemed power drunk and unwilling to relinquish power to Adama Barrow who was sworn-in in The Gambian Embassy in Senegal, the nearest nation to The Gambia. Adama seems to be a very peaceful man, he had not been reported to have made any violent statement against Jammeh. All world powers and African nations are behind Barrow as the new president of The Gambia.

As it is now, Jammeh appears to be a lone ranger having lost recognition by all people even his own family members have forsaken him, but Jammeh is unwilling to leave power. He has severally said African Union and ECOWAS should not meddle in the internal affairs of his country. But his utterance now are getting no support as he has been given grace up to 12 noon Friday to step down voluntarily or be forced militarily, the result of which could be catastrophic.

Actually, Jammeh has stepped on toes. He has lost the respect that is accorded to former presidents of nations. His insistence on power after holding a nation ransom for 22 years leaves much to be desired. Nationals of the country and nationals of other nations resident in the country have left in droves over fear of the consequence of the military action against the country.

The Gambia

Adama Barrow, the new Gambian President

READ ALSO: Senegalese soldiers enter Gambia to force Jammeh out

But certainly, Jammeh is heading for doom as he has no military support in any form to confront the superpowers that will chase him from office as the grace given to him expires. He is certainly going to be chased out in a way he never anticipated. On the other way round, war may emerge but it may not be because the military officers in the country are surrendering to the ECOWAS powers as barrow had warned.

Jammeh is insisting that new elections should be held as the one held on December 1, 2016 that produced Adama Barrow as the country’s new president was faulty. Though the nation’s Independent Electoral Commission was said to have accepted flaws in the election, it, however, said despite the flaws the election would never have been in the favour of Jammeh. Following the perceived flaws, Jammeh said he must remain in office until a new election is held.

Beside the fact that he is waiting for the new election to be held, he is actually afraid of prosecution for the atrocities he committed in his 22 years stay in office. The world and the people of Gambia are waiting for the grace given to him to expire and see what follows. Will he remain defiant or accept shame and step down, the few hours left will tell.


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