The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will transform the ECOMIG forces into a Police Mission, after Gambia’s highly anticipated presidential election in December 2021.
This decision followed extension of the mandate of the ECOMIG mission to December this year. The decision was taken at the virtual submit held yesterday.
Meanwhile, to transform the forces into a police mission requires among others, contributions of personnel from member states. So far, Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Ghana, Senegal and Togo have agreed to contribute personnel to constitute the Police Unit.
It could be recalled that in December 2016, Gambians en masse voted out their incumbent President Yahya A.J.J Jammeh, who initially conceded defeat to the coalition candidate Adama Barrow; but contested the election result a week later. That created a political impasse marred by mass exudos of people to Senegal and beyond. After several negotiations on behalf of the West African bloc (ECOWAS) failed to convince Jammeh to peacefully hand over power to the president elect- Adama Barrow, the bloc deployed its peace mission (ECOMIG forces) to The Gambia in 2017 to enforce the will of Gambians. The arrival of the forces led to the departure of Jammeh to Equatorial Guinea, where he still lives in exile.