Ghana commits 200 troops as ECOWAS readies for Gambia showdown

Ghana has committed 200 ground troops to an ECOWAS force expected to get intransigent Gambian leader Yayha Jammeh out of office.

Jammeh has until midnight Wednesday to vacate his seat as president and handover power to the legitimately elected president Adama Barrow or will be forced out ahead of a planned inauguration on Thursday.

Already, the BBC is reporting that Senelagese troops are moving towards the Gambian border to begin what will likely be a bloody takeover ahead of the inauguration.

The movement towards the Gambian border is part of the ECOWAS grand plan to mount pressure on Jammeh to stand down or be removed. He has refused to hand over power despite losing an election in December last year.

Wednesday was supposed to be his last day in office, having served for 23 years but Jammeh has received Parliamentary approval to extend his stay for another three months.

He has also imposed a 90-day state of emergency that would ban any form of social or political gathering in the Gambian country with a population of 2.5 million.

If his intransigence continues, ECOWAS forces are lining up to force him out of office.

According to reports, Nigeria has also sent 200 air force troops to Senegal in support of the possible intervention.

Inauguration

The president elect Adama Barrow is getting ready to be sworn into office despite the potential threat of violence.

It is not clear yet where the inauguration will be held given the state of emergency declared by the Jammeh.

A journalist in Gambia Mudu Lamin told Joy News’ Evans Mensah  “no one knows what will happen tomorrow.”

However, the streets of Gambia have been deserted with residents living in fear of a bloody encounter.

He cannot also say whether or not the Gambian leader is in town but his loyalists remain defiant in the face of the ECOWAS threat.

Meanwhile, an international relations expert Vladmir Antwi Danso is calling for an intelligence led invasion that will only lead to the death of Jammeh and no one else.

He is worried a full blown conflict may lead to needless loss of lives.

“ECOWAS must use intelligence and get his close allies to kill him,” he told Joy News.

He was unhappy the situation has degenerated to this level saying, Jammeh could easily have made demands of ECOWAS and stepped down quietly.

He described as a “positive thing” the forward presence of the Senegalese troops which he said could be a deterrent measure for the Gambian leader.

He was also happy Ghana will not be playing a leading role, except to follow the dictates of ECOWAS. 

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