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DarkKnightNomeD

African troops on standby as gambia deadline expires

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http://www.newindianexpress.com/world/2017/jan/19/african-troops-on-standby-as-gambia-deadline-expires-1561233.html

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BANJUL: Senegalese troops backed by other African forces were poised to enter The Gambia Thursday after President Yahya Jammeh refused to leave office, ignoring a midnight deadline to stand down or face military action.

Jammeh's army chief said his troops would not fight their entry into the country, as the Mauritanian president flew out of The Gambia following hopes of a last-minute deal to convince Jammeh to hand over power. 

"We are not going to involve ourselves militarily. This is a political dispute," Chief of Defence Staff Ousman Badjie said after eating dinner in a tourist district close to the capital Banjul, eyewitnesses told AFP.

"I am not going to involve my soldiers in a stupid fight. I love my men," he added. "If they (Senegalese) come in, we are here like this," Badjie said, making a hands up or surrender gesture.

Jammeh's mandate ended at midnight (local and GMT) but he has steadfastly refused to leave office after losing elections last month to Adama Barrow, prompting west African states to ramp up pressure on the president following weeks of failed diplomacy.

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West African bloc vows Gambia intervention at midnight

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/gambia-leader-pressured-to-go-declares-state-of-emergency/2017/01/18/391a61b2-dd41-11e6-8902-610fe486791c_story.html

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The regional bloc was seeking the U.N. Security Council’s endorsement of its “all necessary measures” to remove Jammeh. “There is a sense that the whole situation rests in the hands of one person, and it’s up to that person, the outgoing president of the Gambia, to draw the right conclusions,” said Sweden’s U.N. Ambassador Olof Skoog, the current council president.

Jammeh, who first seized power in a 1994 coup, has insisted that his rule was ordained by Allah. He initially conceded defeat after the December vote, but after reports emerged suggesting he could face criminal charges linked to his rule, he reversed himself a week later. He said voting irregularities invalidated the results, and his party went to court seeking a new round of voting. The case has stalled because the supreme court currently only has one sitting judge.

Human rights groups have long accused Jammeh of arresting, jailing and killing political opponents, and there have been widespread fears for Barrow’s safety amid the post-election turmoil. Tensions have been so high that Barrow has remained in the Senegalese capital since last weekend, at the advice of ECOWAS mediators, who feared for his safety. He was not even able to return to Banjul for his 7-year-old son’s funeral Monday after the child was fatally mauled by a dog.

The opposition vowed Wednesday to go ahead with Barrow’s inauguration, though there were no signs of preparation at the Banjul stadium where it was supposed to be held. It was unclear whether Barrow would take the oath at a Gambian Embassy outside the country or if he would return.

“Those who resist peaceful change, effective 12 midnight tonight, shall face definite consequences, to their peril,” said Mai Ahmad Fatty, Barrow’s special adviser, in a Facebook post in which he urged Gambians to stay indoors. “Anyone with firearms tonight shall be deemed a rebel, and will certainly become a legitimate target.”

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Senegal asks UN to back 'all necessary measures' in Gambia

http://www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1444325/senegal-measures-gambia

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The Economic Community Of West African States has repeatedly called on leader Yahya Jammeh to respect the result of the December 1 election and step down after 22 years in power.   

Senegal on Wednesday asked the UN Security Council to authorize the West African ECOWAS bloc to take "all necessary measures" to ensure a transfer of power in The Gambia.

The Economic Community Of West African States has repeatedly called on leader Yahya Jammeh to respect the result of the December 1 election and step down after 22 years in power.

Senegal presented a draft resolution that would provide Security Council approval to any ECOWAS military action in The Gambia to force Jammeh to cede power to President-elect Adama Barrow.

The text, seen by AFP, calls on the council to give its "full support to the ECOWAS in its commitment to take all necessary measures to ensure the respect of the will of the people of The Gambia."

The council met behind closed doors to discuss the crisis over Jammeh's refusal to step down and renewed its demand that the leader hand over power on Thursday.

"As we speak, there are developments and last-ditch efforts to try to resolve this situation in a peaceful way," said Sweden's Ambassador Olof Skoog, who holds the council presidency.

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