Regional leaders postpone Gambia military intervention

Regional leaders postpone Gambia military intervention
# 20 January 2017 03:25 (UTC +04:00)

Regional leaders have announced they will postpone military intervention in Gambia until noon (1200GMT) Friday in order to allow the country’s ex-President Yahya Jammeh to step down, APA reports quoting AA.

A delegation that includes Guinean President Alpha Conde is confident it will be able to convince Jammeh to relinquish his hold on power or face regional troops in what is being called "Operation Restore Democracy".

Forces from the regional economic bloc known as ECOWAS, or Economic Community of Western African States, began moving throughout the small nation late Thursday after the recently elected Adama Barrow was sworn in as president at the Gambian embassy in Senegal.

Jammeh lost the election to Barrow in December but after conceding defeat, he later rejected the results on claims the process was tainted by unacceptable irregularities.

Regional leaders sent a mediation team to Gambia, led by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, but failed to convince Jammeh to step down.

The state media read a press release that reiterated Jammeh's position had not changed.

Jammeh said the country's current political impasse can be solved only by the Supreme Court where he filed a petition, although it could not be heard because of the absence of Judges.

“The position of the government of The Gambia remains that the matter must be resolved in a legal and constitutional manner which is to allow the Supreme Court to sit on the petition of the flawed presidential election," according to the statement.

Fighter jets flew above Gambia on Thursday in a show of force as regional armies flooded border areas inside the country.

Gambia’s army chief Ousman Badgie, joined Barrow's supporters as they celebrated Wednesday.

Badgie has a reputation of being quite unpredictable and security analysts have said the country’s small army would be quickly overrun by regional forces if it is engaged