Gambia: Ecowas Invasion Wrong Irbard

The deployment of troops to The Gambia by ECOWAS to remove President Yahya Jammeh from office is not the best option given the devastating effects a possible war could bring about, security analyst Irbard Ibrahim has suggested.

A security intervention in The Gambia by the regional body looks likely following President Jammeh’s refusal to accept defeat in the country’s last presidential elections.

Opposition leader Adama Barrow, who won the 1 December, 2016 election in that country, is currently in Senegal under protection as ECOWAS troops have moved into The Gambia to force Mr Jammeh out of office as his term elapses today, Thursday 19 January.

The country’s parliament voted for an extension of 90 days for him in office until the election dispute is resolved, but ECOWAS leaders who failed in their quest to get Mr Jammeh to step down feel it is time for military intervention.

However, Mr Ibrahim does not subscribe to a military solution to the situation in the West African country. He told Moro Awudu on Class FM’s Executive Breakfast Show on Thursday, January 19: “I don’t support such military intervention. A war may last for a week, a day or an hour, but its repercussions will tarry on for a long time. Let us go the full stretch and use diplomacy.”

He wondered why ECOWAS was so interested in military intervention, explaining that waiting for 90 days to have the dispute resolved amicably and diplomatically would be a better option.

“ECOWAS cannot even fund itself. Why is it so enthusiastic about an expeditious incursion into a sister West African country? Whose interest does it serve? Is Jammeh being victimised because he is anti-imperialism?

He explained that an invasion could be exploited by terrorists and other militants to pursue their interests, which will be detrimental to the whole West African bloc.

Meanwhile, Mr Barrow’s investiture will be held in Dakar, capital of neighbouring Senegal.