Separatist fighters in Senegal’s southern Casamance region – which borders The Gambia – and in Guinea-Bissau rebuffed President Yahya Jammeh courting to recruit them to fight for him after his election defeat.
BuzzFeed News cited a security source with Jammeh’s State House that the demoralized president’s attempts to persuade the separatists to join his cause have so far been spurned.
“They have refused to fight for Jammeh,” a top security source close to Jammeh said. “The rebel fighters from Casamance made it clear they will not take up arms for Jammeh. The other mercenaries contacted in Bissau Guinea also said the same.”
The chair of the opposition coalition that defeated Jammeh in last month’s polls warned Jammeh was trying to recruit rebels from neighboring nations and smuggle heavy military weapons from his home in Kanilai, some six miles from the Senegalese border, into Casamance.
A senior Ivorian intelligence officer said recruiting is ongoing in border towns with Liberia where Jammeh is seeking to hire Ivorian mercenaries and former Liberian rebel fighters loyal to Charles Taylor.
Gambia’s President-elect Adama Barrow has vowed to swear himself in as president and Mr. Jammeh would be declared a rebel if he continues to cling on to power when his mandate expires.
West African leaders who were in Banjul to prevail over Jammeh to step down peaceful failed in their bid before authorizing a military standby force to intervene.
Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson said Jammeh holding on to power risk destabilization and instability for the sub-region.