Senegal has the backing of the international community and is prepared to lead a military intervention in neighboring Gambia to uphold the results of an election that saw the small country’s longtime ruler President Yahya Jammeh defeated in the polls, says Senegalese Defense Minister Augustine Tine.
West African leaders in Abuja took a firm stand on the political impasse in The Gambia after Jammeh, who has ruled for 22 years refuses to step down. ECOWAS says it will use “all means necessary” without explaining what that may entail.
ECOWAS Commission President Marcel de Souza said if diplomatic efforts fail, the regional body will be forced to take a radical approach as they did in Mali and Guinea-Bissau.
Although he is faced with strong international condemnation and local resistance, President Yahya Jammeh, who lost to real estate developer Adama Barrow says he will fight to remain in power.
ECOWAS has put its troops on alert if Jammeh refuses to relinquish power when his term ends on January 18.
Gambia’s President-elect Adama Barrow has threatened to swear himself in and would declare Jammeh a rebel if he refuses to leave.