Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh arrives for a dinner with the French President and other dignitaries as part of the Summit for Peace and Security in Africa at the Elysee Palace in Paris, December 6, 2013. Forty-two representatives, including presidents and heads of government take part in the two-day summit. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier (FRANCE  - Tags: POLITICS) - RTX167CQ

ECOWAS troops to be withdrawn from Kanilai

Major General Francois Ndiaye, the head of ECOWAS operations in Gambia, said Kanilai, the birthplace of ex-president Yahya Jammeh, is a private residence and military presence there will be ended.

Kanilai, a two-hour drive to Banjul is reported to have secured bunkers that stored heavy weapons close to the border with Senegal where Mr. Jammeh can start an insurgency.

“The man is capable. In Kanilai, he has bunkers. I have reliable sources that [say that] he has bunkers. I have been reliably informed that he has treasure in Kanilai, he’s sitting on a treasure, on gold as they say,” said the country’s Vice President Fatoumata Tambajang, who was the chair of the coalition then.

It was reported that heavy weapons were missing from the armory of the presidential guard unit. Jammeh had troops stationed in Kanilai, which was his de facto political capital.

General Ndiaye now says all “ammunitions and weapons” are under the control of the regional forces.

ECOWAS will be reducing its troops in The Gambia. Its mission was to depose Jammeh and secure the capital to ensure President Adama Barrow’s safety.

Barrow has returned to Banjul to take over power and Gambian military officers are cooperating with the regional troops to ensure a smooth transition after former leader Yahya Jammeh fled to Equatorial Guinea.

(Reporting and Writing by Sam Phatey; Contribution and Additional Reporting by Mustapha Darboe)

Comments are closed.