A United States Congressman, Eliot L. Engel, has described the current situation in the Gambia as ‘troubling’ after news that Jammeh is hiring mercenaries to thwart an international effort to enforce the will of the Gambian people.
Political tensions are heightening in the West African nation with the refusal of its crestfallen President Yahya Jammeh to step down.
Engel is a ranking member of House Committee on Foreign Affairs. The U.S. is supporting an Ecowas and UN Security Council resolution for Jammeh to step down or face military action and strong sanctions.
Jammeh was first praised as a statesman putting the Gambia on the path to democracy when he initially accepted defeat. He made a political grope a week later rejecting the results.
The U.S. has asked its citizens to leave the country and will be reducing its embassy staff to eight. Families of its Banjul mission are due to be evacuated to neighboring Senegal ahead of Tuesday’s Supreme Court ruling on an election petition filed by Jammeh’s APRC party.
West African leaders who failed in their bid to convince Mr. Jammeh to step down are meeting in Ghana’s capital, Accra on the sideline of the inauguration of Ghana’s President-elect Nana Akufo-Addo to make a ‘major decision’ on The Gambia’s political impasse.