After several attempts to compel the outgoing President Yahya Jammeh have failed, leaders of the Economic Community of West African States is set to deploy standby force to the Gambia. This move follows Yahya Jammeh’s refusal to step down, despite an election defeat by a coalition candidate Adama Barrow on December 1. Jammeh had earlier conceded defeat only to reverse his acceptance a week later, throwing the country into political crisis.
The ECOWAS Standby force has been mandated to uphold the Gambia’s election results to prevent the defeated President from subverting the will of Gambian people. Jammeh, who rules the Gambia with iron-fist for 22 years, refused to comply with an ECOWAS mediation committee led by Presidents of Nigeria and Ghana, Muhammadu Buhari and John Mahama.
In a statement, the regional grouping said “by virtue of this decision, the ECOWAS Standby Force (ESF) is hereby deployed to the Republic of the Gambia.”
“The ECOWAS Standy Force as deployed in paragraph 1 of this article shall be led by Senegal in the execution of its mandate. [Also] Upholding the results of the presidential election of 1st December 2016 in the Republic of the Gambia.”