Efforts by the West African force deployed in The Gambia to secure the nation’s presidential transition have yielded a big success.
General Francois Ndiaye, who leads the force of the Economic Community of West African States Military Intervention in Gambia (ECOMIG), said on Monday (30 January) that it had recovered arms and ammunition stored in ex-President Yahya Jammeh’s private residence in his home village of Kanilai.
“All the weapons and ammunitions are now under ECOWAS custody. So nothing will happen there,” the Senegalese general said. “The situation is under control.”
He added that since the Kanilai residence is private, “There shouldn’t be any military there. In the coming days, there will be no more military there.”
He also said that General Bora Colley, a high-ranking general in the Jammeh regime, had been arrested in Senegal, without giving further details.
Colley was the former commander of the military camp in Kanilai, where Jammeh had planned to retire to before being forced into exile after refusing to accept defeat in the 1 December election.
Four guards of Jammeh’s wife, Zainab, had also been arrested in the border town of Karang in Senegal, and were being held in Dakar, the ECOMIG commander revealed.
Ndiaye said that Gambian officers and soldiers needed to be “screened”, including “background checks, so that we know all of them”, he said.
The general added, however, that the Gambian armed forces have been “very co-operative, and we are now controlling the ammunitions and the weapons. So there is no need for us to stay longer. That’s why we are downsizing gradually.”
Ken Kamara with agency reports