Published On: Wed, Jan 18th, 2017

Yellow Alert: Nigeria Deploys Fighter Jets, 200 Soldiers To ECOMIG, Jammeh Remains Recalcitrant

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By Sadiq Umar – The Economic Community of West African States Military Intervention in Gambia (ECOMIG) is set for military action against President Yahya Jammeh even as his tenure expires Thursday.

The move is coming on the heels of a state of emergency declared by the recalcitrant Jammeh hours to the expiration of his tenure and the decision of the country’s National Assembly granting him a three-month tenure elongation.

The modus operandi of the standby force that are now at Senegal border with the Gambia is not yet clear, reports however indicated that ECOMIG may be accompanying the Gambia President-elect, Adama Barrow back from Senegal where he is currently taking refuge ahead of his swearing in Banjul, the capital on Thursday.

Already, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has deployed to Senegal as part of Nigerian contingent of ECOMIG, a standby force tasked by ECOWAS Heads of State to enforce the December 1, 2016 election mandate in the The Gambia.

A statement issued by NAF Spokesman, Group Captain Ayodele Famuyiwa in Abuja Wednesday said “NAF today moved a contingent of 200 men and air assets comprising fighter jets, transport aircraft, Light Utility Helicopter as well as Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance aircraft to Dakar from where it is expected to operate into Gambia.

“The deployment is also to forestall hostilities or breakdown of law and order that may result from the current political impasse in The Gambia.

Addressing the contingent before departure, the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar urged the troops to maintain discipline and be professional in their conduct.

The Chief of Air Staff reminded the contigent to be good ambassadors of Nigeria, warning that “no act of indiscipline by the contingent would be tolerated.

“The contingent, led by Air Cdre Tajudeen Yusuf, was airlifted this morning from 117 Air Combat Training Group Kainji. Other troop contributing countries include Senegal, Ghana and countries within the sub-region,” the statement added.



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