Senegal’s Chief of Defense Staff Brigadier General Cheikh Dieye visited regional troops in The Gambia and met with the country’s President Adama Barrow.
West African troops led by Senegal were abruptly deployed to The Gambia, where former President Yahya Jammeh refused to cede power after losing elections in December.
General Dieye visited the Ecomig command center in Fajara, outside the capital Banjul, where he held talks with the regional commander Major General Francois Ndiaye and inspected defense positions around the capital.
Mr. Dieye applauded the troops for a ‘job well done’ in securing the capital, ensuring a smooth transition and maintaining discipline.
Regional troops are helping Gambian authorities vet members of its armed and security services. The Ecomig forces are securing the presidential compound and President Barrow who had stayed in Senegal ahead of taking power over safety concerns.
Gambia’s army is preparing to take full charge of the country’s security when Ecomig eventually exits and transfers the responsibility of securing the country and the president to the national forces.
Barrow has said e will be protected by a special police unit instead of the army.
Regional troops are expected to stay in the Gambia for at least six months, but there is no timeline for withdrawal. The size of the force has been reduced from 7,000 to 4,000. Additional withdrawal of troops is expected to happen after the exit of the Nigerian Air Force.