Troops in West Africa are on standby to remove the Gambian president from his post if he does not agree to stand down when his terms comes to an end in January.
The chair of the regional bloc, Marcel de Souza, says that if Yahya Jammeh really does love the people of Gambia, then he will accept the result and make a peaceful exit. However, according to reports, if he does not, then Senegal will be leading the move to remove him.
Mr Jammeh has been in power for more than two decades. However, earlier this month, he lost to Adama Barrow, who is a former Argos security guard and estate agent. However, although Mr Jammeh was initially said to be accepting of the result, even congratulating Mr Barrow, he has now made a U-turn and has said he will be launchig a legal challenge.
It comes after he made a number of comments in a television interview, when he dared the Ecowas commission to intervene, as well as criticising the US, the US, the EU and the Commonwealth. However, Mr de Souza has said that forces have already been put on standby and were ready to intervene to make sure the people’s wishes were carried out. He said that he hoped he would be able to negotiate a calm exit, but if not then “the most radical means will be used”.
Meanwhile, President-elect Mr Barrow has urged all Gambians to leave matters in the hands of him and his team. He said that Mr Jammeh must go before January 19, but added that there must be no cycle of revenge. Mr Barrow added that he had “no intention to preside over a country where there will be revenge for past injustices”. A delegation from Ecowas has met with Mr Jammeh but could not make him change his mind.