- The ECOWAS commission president Marcel de Souza says the standby forces have been put on alert to enter The Gambia if Jammeh does not step down
- ECOWAS forces are led by Nigerian military forces and have stormed Liberia and Sierra Leone under similar circumstances in the past
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has put its military forces on alert should Gambian president Yahyah Jammeh fails to step down on January 19.
Premium Times reports that President of ECOWAS commission President Marcel de Souza confirmed the move on a Malian television station on Thursday, December 22.
De Souza said:
We have put standby forces on alert if he does not (step down) on January 19 when his mandate ends.
No one has the right to oppose the will of the people.
In the past, ECOWAS has deployed troops, led by Nigeria to disturbed countries like Liberia and Sierra Leone during civil wars in the 1990s, thereby setting a precedent for possible intervention in cases like Gambia’s.
READ ALSO: What Gambia’s President told Buhari
Premium Times quotes diplomats as saying that ECOWAS would probably seek approval from the U.N. Security Council for the use of force.
Recall that Jammeh had vowed not to step down from his post even after he lost to president-elect Adama Barrow in the election of December 1.
Jammeh said the visit of a high profile ECOWAS delegate comprising President Buhari, Liberia president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Ghana’s John Mahama and Sierra Leone’s Bai Koroma was just ‘mere formality’.