Wed | Aug 16, 2017

Regional troops enter Gambia in effort to get Jammeh to go

Published:Friday | January 20, 2017 | 1:00 AM
A convoy of Senegal soldiers enroute towards the Gambia boarder with Senegal near Karang, Senegal, yesterday.

DAKAR (AP):

A West African regional force charged into neighbouring Gambia late Thursday to support the country's newly inaugurated president, while longtime ruler Yahya Jammeh showed no sign of stepping down.

The troops moved in shortly after Adama Barrow was inaugurated at Gambia's embassy in neighbouring Senegal, after a final effort at diplomatic talks with Jammeh failed to secure his departure. His mandate expired at midnight.

Senegalese military spokesman Colonel Abdoul Ndiaye confirmed to The Associated Press that the first regional troops had crossed into Gambia and were on their way to the capital, Banjul. AP journalists saw at least 20 military vehicles gathered at the border town of Karang.

In his inaugural speech, which took place under heavy security, Barrow called on Jammeh to respect the will of the people and step aside. The new president also called on Gambia's armed forces to remain in their barracks as the regional military intervention got under way.

Outside Gambia's embassy in Dakar, Baal Jaabang held up a freshly framed portrait of Barrow, already printed with the words: "His Excellency Adama Barrow, President of the Republic of Gambia."