Gambia’s President Barrow broadens ECOMIG mandate

Gambia’s President Barrow broadens ECOMIG mandate

Gambia’s President Adama Barrow has widened the mandate to include support for training Gambian armed forces after prolonging their stay for another 12 months.

The regional troops will also help The Gambia and its international partners, including the UN and EU to vet personnel in the army and implement Barrow’s security reform agenda.

ECOMIG forces were faced with a violent protest on Friday. The confrontation left one person dead and several people injured.

President Barrow extended the mandate of the regional force following last week’s turmoil in Kanilai, where supporters of defeated dictator, Yahya Jammeh demanded their withdrawal.

The ECOWAS statement on Monday announcing the extension of the ECOMIG mandate made no mention of the spat between its forces and Jammeh supporters.

The regional leaders, however, urged Barrow to establish the required framework and mechanism that will promote national dialogue and reconciliation.

Barrow has pledged to establish a truth commission to investigate allegations of human rights abuses by Jammeh’s regime and render justice to past injustices, and strict respect to international norms and principles.

The government of President Yahya Jammeh, that came to power in a 1994 coup, frequently committed serious human rights violations including arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, and torture against those who voiced opposition to his regime.

The repression and abuses created a climate of fear within Gambia, generating increased attention from the international community.

State security forces most frequently implicated in violations were members of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), and a special military force known as the “Jungulers.”

Jammeh lost to Barrow and refused to cede power. The inaction of the Gambia’s army to compel him to leave led West African leaders to back Barrow, who agreed to have ECOMIG troops deployed to flush him out of power.

Jammeh fled to Equatorial Guinea after last-minute mediation by Guinean and Mauritanian leaders and has since been holed up in the Central African nation, where he took up farming. Gambian authorities are accusing of corruption and seized his domestic assets

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