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Gambian Army Leader Says They Won’t Fight Other Africans, as Troops Enter Nation to Protect New President

Senegalese army spokesman Colonel Abdou Ndiaye has confirmed to Reuters that they have entered The Gambia to protect new President Adama Barrow, who was sworn in Thursday, Jan. 19, at The Gambian embassy in Dakar by the resident of the Gambian Bar Association, Sheriff Tambedou.

In his inaugural speech, Tambedou ordered the military to “lay down their arms and remain in the barracks or they will be regarded as rebels.”

The Gambian Army’s Chief of Defense Staff Ousman Badjie said on Wednesday night that he would not order his men to fight other African troops if they enter Gambian territory.

The 15-member UN Security Council has cautioned ECOWAS to pursue political means first as joint troops enter the country.

Ousted leader Yahya Jammeh has refused to step down despite the final intervention by Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, who landed in the Gambian capital Banjul on Wednesday evening to convince him to do so.

Despite the tension, many Gambians celebrated in the streets of Banjul after the swearing-in of Barrow.


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