ECOMIG forces in The Gambia have disarmed soldiers at a barracks in northeastern Gambia after the departure of the country’s longtime ruler Yahya Jammeh.
The forces are on a security sweep to ensure the safety of the country’s new President Adama Barrow, who is expected to arrive in the capital, Banjul this week to take power.
Barrow authorized the West African troops to enter the West African nation Thursday, shortly after taking his oath of office at the Gambian embassy in Dakar, Senegal, where he is holed up.
Former President Yahya Jammeh suffered defeat in the hands of Barrow and refused to cede power plunging the country into political turmoil.
The push by ECOMIG force to capture Jammeh was paused after a last-ditch diplomatic effort was launched by the presidents of Guinea and Mauritania to secure Jammeh’s peaceful exit.
Although the military offensive has been called off, some West African troops will remain in the country to stabilize the situation in partnership with Gambian armed and security forces.
President Barrow is waiting for the security sweep to be clear, including in the State House before returning to the Banjul.
Some troops within the Gambian army, especially in the presidential guard unit remain loyal to Jammeh. Forces loyal to teh former ruler arrested dozens of officers suspected of switching loyalty to Mr. Barrow before Jammeh agreed to stand down.
(Reporting by Omar Wally and Writing by Sam Phatey)