Thursday, January 19, 2017

Troops halted, another mediation team expected in Gambia Friday

African troops were on Thursday night told to halt operation in The Gambia to give defiant Yahya Jammeh until Friday noon as another mediation team is expected in Banjul.
Mr. Jammeh reportedly asked for negotiation.

According to Marcel Alain de Souza, head of the Economic Community of West African States, the talks will be led by Guinean president Alpha Conde in the Gambian capital Banjul on Friday morning.

"We have suspended operations and given him an ultimatum," said de Souza.

"If by midday, he doesn't agree to leave The Gambia under President Conde we really will intervene militarily," he added.

De Souza said there had been "a few warning shots so far" and it was "out of the question that he remains where he is".

"What we are asking is for him to leave," he added.

Conde will first travel to Mauritania where he will meet the country's president Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz -- who led the previous round of negotiations with Jammeh on Wednesday -- and then to Banjul.

Senegalese troops moved across the border into The Gambia on Thursday after the UN Security Council backed West African efforts to ensure that the country’s defeated leader Yahya Jammeh hands over power.

Earlier, Adama Barrow was sworn in as Gambian president at his country’s embassy in Dakar.

The Nigerian air force also flew over The Gambia on Thursday, waiting to enforce the mandate.

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