There are strong indications that the troops from Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, Mali and Togo are at the borders of Senegal, awaiting the green light to intervene and unseat Yahya Jammeh, the ‘defeated’ President of Gambia.
Following the constitution, from today, January 19, Jammeh is no longer the country’s legitimate ruler.
There are reports that Gambian soldiers have withdrawn from strategic areas near the country’s borders with Senegal as ECOWAS soldiers prepare to move in.
This is just as the country’s Army Chief, Ousman Badjie, stated that he will not put his men on the line and they will not fight or die for Yahya Jammeh.
Meanwhile 26,000 Gambians crossed the border into Senegal between the start of the year and Monday, with many continuing to flee the impending conflict in recent days, according to UNHCR spokeswoman Helene Caux in Dakar.
Banjul has been turned into a ‘ghost town’ with tens of thousands of people fleeing the capital and at least 26,000 crossing the border into Senegal.
Eyewitnesses reported heavily armed soldiers arriving at the Senegalese border town of Karang late Wednesday, while the Nigerian Air Force deployed fighter jets and troops to Senegal ahead of a likely military intervention in Gambia, where the post-election political crisis was escalating.
The Nigerian Air Force said in a statement its deployment was in keeping with the West African bloc’s pledge to enforce the election mandate.
Nigeria moved 200 troops, fighter jets, transport aircraft, helicopters and other air assets to the Senegalese capital Dakar, and planned to move them from there into Gambia.
“The deployment is also to forestall hostilities or breakdown of law and order that may result from the current political impasse in Gambia,” the statement read.
Adama Barrow, the president-elect, fled Gambia on Saturday to Dakar amid fears of violence, but has insisted he would be inaugurated as scheduled on Thursday.
Barrow, the man expected to be sworn in today as Gambia’s new president, has declared Alhaji Yahya Jammeh’s era over.
“My dearest Gambians — the presidency of Yahya Jammeh is officially over. The new era of Gambia is here at last. #NewGambia“, Barrow wrote on his Twitter handle this morning.