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ECOWAS deploys 625 Senegalese troops in Gambia

The Senegalese military engaged in the sub-regional force ECOWAS will continue their mission in Gambia, four years after forcing Yahya…

The Senegalese military engaged in the sub-regional force ECOWAS will continue their mission in Gambia, four years after forcing Yahya Jammeh to leave power following his defeat in the presidential election.The contingent, identified as the fifth Senegalese detachment of the ECOWAS Mission in The Gambia (MICEGA), is composed of 625 military personnel including 12 women.

 

They received Tuesday in Toubacouta (centre) the national flag from the hands of Brigadier General Fulgence Ndour, Chief of Staff of the army, in the presence of the governor of the region of Fatick, Seynabou Guèye.

 

“The contribution of the Senegalese army to this sub-regional mission perpetuates our tradition of accompanying the search for peace and stability through sub-regional, regional and international organisations. It contributes to the search for stability in a brotherly and border country whose march towards democratisation and socio-economic development is a major strategic challenge for us,” General Ndour was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

 

The ECOWAS forces, composed mainly of Senegalese, have been present since 22 January 2017 in Gambia. They pushed the autocrat president Yahya Jammeh into exile. He came to power by coup in 1994, and surprisingly acknowledged his defeat in the presidential election of December 2016 against Adama Barrow, before retracting.

 

Supported by the international community, Barrow was sworn in at the Gambian embassy in Dakar. He then called for the presence of ECOWAS troops in his country given the security situation.

 

Since then, Barrow had not withdrawn from the military assistance of ECOWAS, including its strategic partner Senegal. In September 2020, the Gambian president had already requested, on the sidelines of a summit of the sub-regional organisation in Niamey (Niger), the extension of MICEGA in The Gambia, “taking into account the reforms underway and the need to protect the fragile democracy in his country. ECOWAS granted his request and renewed it for six months.”

 

“The instruction and training provided to the fifth contingent of MICEGA will enable them to carry out their future mission in The Gambia, a theatre where their predecessors have already paved the way with substantial operational achievements and irreproachable behaviour, thus forcing the admiration of the Gambian people and the respect of other sister contingents,” noted General Ndour.

 

Continuing, the Chief of Staff of the Army reminded his troops that they will be engaged “during a sensitive period because it coincides with the organization of the Gambian presidential election to be held on 4 December 2021.”

 

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