Gambia’s former Information Minister Seedy Njie said Thursday that embattled former President Yahya Jammeh would not leave office.
Njie expressed fewer concerns at the presence of ECOWAS troops that have entered the country with no resistance so far. The outgoing minister decried the intervention as ‘unlawful’ and said the ‘rule of law and constitution must be followed.’
The majority former ruling and now opposition APRC majority parliament extended Jammeh’s mandate by three months and Jammeh seized the opportunity to declare a 90-day state of emergency.
Jammeh and his team were seeking to regain control after the former ruler lost last month’s elections.
The Supreme Court could not hear two petitions by Jammeh because there were no judges available. Jammeh had fired all of them, except for the Chief Justice and ignored repeated calls to appoint the judges since 2015.
Gambia’s army chief Lt. Gen. Ousman Bargie said he will not involve his men in a ‘stupid war.’ But Mr. Jammeh may get some support from the Republican National Guard, where he can his loyalist concentrated.
ECOWAS forces have already entered the Gambia and poised to depose Jammeh and take over the capital, Banjul. Nigerian fighter jets flew over the State House, Banjul Airport, and Kanilai.
President Adama Barrow, who took the oath of office at the Gambia’s embassy in Dakar authorized the forces to flush out Mr. Jammeh
Human rights groups accuse Mr. Jammeh of repression – a claim he denies.