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Jammeh stays put as deadline expires, troops ready for action

By News Express on 19/01/2017

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Outgoing Gambian President Yahya Jammeh.
Outgoing Gambian President Yahya Jammeh.

A midnight deadline has passed in the Gambia, leaving the African country in flux with two presidents and West African troops massed on the border.

Outgoing President Yahya Jammeh has refused to step down since losing December election to rival Adama Barrow, who was due to take power on Thursday.

Troops from several West African countries were ready to enter Gambia if Jammeh didn’t step aside by midnight, Colonel Seydou Maiga Moro with the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) told Senegal’s state media.

“All the troops are already on site,” Moro said. “If no solution has been reached by midnight, we will take action.”

Hours after the deadline passed, it was unclear whether they’d made good on the pledge.

Jammeh has held power the Gambia since a military coup in 1994 until a surprise loss in the December 1 vote, where his opponent won 45% of the vote.

Attempts by African leaders and the United States to convince Jammeh to leave have been unsuccessful.

On Tuesday, the outgoing president declared a state of emergency in the country, claiming “a situation exists which, if it is allowed to continue, may lead to a state of public emergency.”

Speaking in a televised statement, Jammeh also claimed he had filed an application with Gambia’s Supreme Court to prevent Barrow being sworn in.

Barrow is currently waiting in neighbouring Senegal for the transition of power.

The President-elect’s office insisted in a statement last week that the election result stands.

Adapted from a CNN report.

Source News Express

Posted 19/01/2017 12:30:35 PM





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