The ECOWAS forces are to remain in the Gambia for the next six months following a request by the country’s new President Adama Barrow said the ECOWAS Commission according to a report by Premium Times.
“Barrow would like us to have a sufficient force on ground for about six months; we will see which troops will be withdrawn and which would be retained.” Said ECOWAS Commission President Marcel de Souza, while briefing members of the diplomatic corps and partner organizations on the political situation in The Gambia on Tuesday in Abuja, Nigeria
De Souza added that the Chiefs of Army Staff has the final word on keeping the ECOWAS forces in the East African nation. The forces are meant to fall back by the end of the week.
ECOWAS mission in The Gambia is to secure peace in the country and according to De Souza “Orders were given for forces to move to Banjul; it was a force to secure the situation, the environment and the life of Barrow, not a military move.”
West African countries, member states to ECOWAS, met the cost of maintaining the troops.
Yahya Jammeh left The Gambia for Equatorial Guinea on Friday after final mediation efforts by Presidents Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz of Mauritania and Alpha Conde of Guinea.