ECOWAS troops disarm Gambia’s army, take over Jammeh’s village

ECOWAS troops disarm Gambia’s army, take over Jammeh’s village
January 22, The ECOWAS Military Intervention in The Gambia (ECOMIG) has disarmed some Gambian soldiers, and taken over the military installation in Yahya Jammeh’s home village of Kanilai.

Kanilai came under heavy shelling  from ECOMIG troops on Thursday.

The troops have been reported to have seized the military barracks in the border town of Farafenni as part of strengthening security across the country.

AP quoted reliable sources as saying ECOMIG forces are disarming soldiers as part of their operational mandate ordered by the regional bloc to resolve the political crisis in the country.

According to the sources, the mopping up operation is being carried out mainly by Senegalese troops.

“They entered the town early on Sunday morning, occupied the military barracks, ordered Gambian soldiers there to lay down their arms before proceeding to dismantle its defensive fortifications,” a source was quoted as saying.

Some Gambians have also taken to social media to confirm the sighting of ECOMIG troops in parts of the country, including the coastal village of Kartong, bordering Senegal’s southern region of Casamance.

The movement of ECOMIG troops is necessitated to neutralise deployments by a section of the Gambian military on the orders of Jammeh, who initially resisted intervention of the regional group that was aiming to forcibly remove him from power.

Jammeh flew into exile late Saturday, ending a protracted political crisis caused by his dramatic U-turn, despite initially conceding the election to President Adama Barrow.

The head of the Ecowas Commission, Marcel de Souza, said the mopping up operation will clear the way for Barrow’s eventual return to Banjul from Senegal, where he has been taking temporary refuge since last week.

Barrow took his oath of office in the Gambian embassy in Senegal.

According to de Souza, the ECOMIG troops are also mandated to search, find and neutralise secret weapons depots Jammeh had built over the years.

“We will look for hidden weapons and mercenaries will be arrested to create a true situation of tranquillity, secure the return of populations who fear reprisals and to ensure that the country regain its national unity” he said.

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