US backs West African intervention in Gambia

2017-01-20 14:25


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Washington - The United States said  on Thursday that it backs a West African intervention in The Gambia to restore elected rule, but that it had not been asked to provide military support.

Forces from Senegal, Ghana and Nigeria have mobilised in support of the Ecowas regional bloc's demand that The Gambia's long-time leader Yahya Jammeh step down.

"We do support it, and we're in touch with officials in Senegal," State Department spokesperson John Kirby said, adding that the US support is diplomatic.

"We understand that the purpose is to help stabilise a tense situation and to try to observe the will of the people in the Gambia," he added.

Kirby noted that the US Embassy in Banjul is closed except for emergency services and that any American citizens who have not been able to leave should stay indoors.

"We urge them to carefully evaluate the security situation before attempting to resolve any normal activities," he said.

Earlier, 51-year-old election winner Adama Barrow was sworn in as The Gambia's internationally recognised president in exile at a ceremony in the country's embassy in Dakar.

Senegalese troops have crossed into The Gambia after a show of force by Nigerian fighter jets.

Read more on:    ecowas  |  adama barrow  |  yahya jammeh  |  gambia  |  gambia 2016 elections  |  west africa

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