U.S. Says ‘We Support Ongoing ECOWAS Military Action against Jammeh’

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New York, Jan. 20, 2017 (NAN) … The U.S. supports the ongoing military action to oust former President of The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh and provide conducive atmosphere for the new President, Adama Barrow, to govern, the Department of State has said.
An ECOWAS Intervention Force had begun an operation in The Gambia to oust ex-President Yahya Jammeh who refused to vacate office after his defeat in the Dec. 1, 2016 presidential election.
A new president , Adama Barrow, was sworn in in neighbouring Senegal after entreaties by an ECOWAS mediation committee led by President Muhammad Buhari to get Jammeh to accept the outcome of the election failed to yield positive result.
Spokesperson for the Department, Mr John Kirby, at a press briefing, noted the military deployment by Nigeria and Senegal to The Gambia, saying the purpose was to enforce the “will of the people of The Gambia”.
“We do support it (military intervention) and we’re in touch with officials in Senegal.
“We support it because we understand that the purpose is to help stabilise a tense situation and to try to observe the will of the people of The Gambia.
“Obviously, we’re going to stay in close touch.
“This decision was just recently made so we’re going to be watching this very, very closely,”he said.
Kirby said in view of the uncertainty in the country, the Department had advised U.S. citizens in The Gambia to leave the country.
“We have advised all U.S. citizens to shelter in safe place due to the risk of armed conflict and we  asked them to carefully evaluate the security situation before attempting to resume  normal activities.
“We also stated very clearly that U.S. citizens who are able to leave The Gambia are advised to do so.
“The embassy is temporarily closed to all non-emergency services as of noon yesterday (Wednesday).
“It remains closed today (Thursday) and it will be closed tomorrow (Friday).”
According to him, the U.S. Ambassador to The Gambia had left the country due to the political impasse.
The U.S. official explained that the support the country was giving ECOWAS on its intervention in The Gambia was diplomatic adding, the U.S. military is not involved in the mission.
“This is an ECOWAS decision and an ECOWAS mission.
“I know of no request or desire for U.S. military assistance.
“When I did say ‘support’, I meant diplomatic support for this; I didn’t mean to indicate that the United States military was getting involved in any way.
“I know of no such plan to do that. None that I’m aware of.
“And again, this just started. So we’ll monitor it closely, we’ll stay in touch with Senegalese leaders, and we’ll see where it goes.

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