The Gambia's President-elect Adama Barrow meets ECOWAS leaders during talks in Banjul for President Yahya Jammeh to step down / PHOTO: Alhagie Manka - STATE OF MIC

Regional leaders committed to supporting Gambia’s govt, security

Regional leaders that backed Gambia’s political novice, Adama Barrow to become president have reiterated their commitment to back his administration following clashes between West African troops and supporters of ousted dictator, Yahya Jammeh.

ECOWAS, the sub-regional economic bloc is upholding its pledge to support Mr. Barrow in stabilizing the small nation after averting civil war.

The Gambian nearly slipped into a bloody crisis after Jammeh refused to step aside and hand over the presidency to Barrow following his shocking election defeat.

“The Commission reaffirms its commitment to support the Gambian Government in ensuring the security and protection of all Gambians,” according to the body.

West African troops and Jammeh supporters clashed in southwestern Gambia leaving one person dead and several people injured.

Activists and opposition leaders are calling for an independent probe into the death of an unarmed protester, Haruna Jammeh, who was buried last week.

President Adama Barrow extended the ECOMIG mandate to another year and broaden its mandate to include support for training of government soldiers just hours after the Kanilai incident.

“It is noteworthy that the mandate of ECOMIG to support the Gambian Government stabilize the fragile security situation in the country was extended for a year,” ECOWAS said in a statement.

Gambia is struggling to rebuild its military, which has been plagued by the recruitment of youths from a militia group that backed Jammeh during his decades-long iron fist rule.

Dozens of Gambian soldiers have been arrested for committing human rights abuses, including torture and killings and for crimes against the state since Jammeh’s ouster.

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

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