The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has extended the mandate of the ECOMIG troops deployed to the Gambia, to help shape the country’s peace and stability. The new mission extension will last for another year. This followed, the convening of an ECOWAS Summit in Monrovia, Liberia, by the regional body over the weekend. Gambian president Adama Barrow was among the African Heads of State, who attended the conference.
Under the new extension, the ECOMIG forces will continue to remain in the Gambia for another year, before the mission would be reviewed to decide as to whether the peacekeepers will stay or leave Gambia. Five hundred ECOMIG troops are in the Gambia. The original number was 7,000, when dictator Jammeh refused to relinquish power in the aftermath of the December 1st elections.
This past weekend, the ECOMIG forces had a showdown with peaceful protesters in Kanilai, in which 54 year Haruna Jatta, was shot and killed by the Senegalese forces. Six other protesters were shot and injured during the incident. Dozens others were arrested and detained by the police.
The deteriorating security situation in the Fonis, the birth region of former dictator Yahya Jammeh, had led to the extension of the ECOMIG mandate to the Gambia. There has been documented increase on crime rate in recent weeks in the Gambia.
Written By Pa Nderry M’Bai