| Africatime
Thursday 23 March 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 01/20/17)
West African leaders were due in Banjul on Friday morning to offer Gambia's veteran leader Yahya Jammeh a last chance to step down peacefully before regional forces, which have already entered the country, oust him. Troops from regional bloc ECOWAS, spearheaded by Senegal and Nigeria, crossed into Gambia on Thursday at the request of newly elected President Adama Barrow, who had to be sworn in at Gambia's embassy in Dakar as Jammeh clings to office. The West African armies have given Jammeh, in power since a 1994 coup, until midday on Friday to quit before they continue their advance across the tiny slither of a country to the capital, Banjul. The city was quiet overnight after hundreds of Gambians celebrated...
(AFP (eng) 01/20/17)
The UN Security Council on Thursday unanimously backed regional efforts to ensure a handover of power in The Gambia, throwing its full weight behind newly-inaugurated President Adama Barrow in the escalating standoff. The council adopted a resolution drafted by Senegal that expressed "full support" to the ECOWAS regional bloc as a first wave of Senegalese troops crossed the border into The Gambia. The Economic Community Of West African States has repeatedly called on longtime leader Yahya Jammeh to accept defeat in the December 1 election and step down after 22 years in power. The council demanded that Jammeh "carry out a peaceful and orderly transition process, and to transfer power" to Barrow, who was sworn in at the Gambian embassy...
(AFP (eng) 01/20/17)
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday called Gambia's newly-inaugurated President Adama Barrow to express his support. Senegalese troops launched a military intervention after Barrow was sworn in as president at the Gambian embassy in Dakar. Guterres "told President Barrow of his full support for his determination, and ECOWAS's historic decision, with the unanimous backing of the Security Council, to restore the rule of law in The Gambia so as to honor and respect the will of the Gambian people," said a UN spokesman. The council earlier unanimously adopted a resolution backing efforts by the Economic Community of West African States to ensure a handover of power. Guterres expressed "deep concern" about the refusal of longtime leader Yahya Jammeh to step...
(AFP (eng) 01/20/17)
The Gambia's new president, Adama Barrow, took the oath of office in the country's embassy in Senegal on Thursday and immediately called on the security forces to "demonstrate their loyalty" in his standoff with defeated leader Yahya Jammeh. Barrow, 51, was sworn in days after seeking shelter in Dakar, with Jammeh still refusing to stand down after losing a December election despite international pressure. Senegal's army had warned it would intervene in The Gambia if Jammeh had refused to leave office by the end of his mandate at midnight Wednesday, with a regional African force massed on the border. "I command the chief of defence staff and officers of high command to demonstrate their loyalty to me as commander-in-chief without...
(Voice of America 01/20/17)
By most measures, Africa is safer today than it has been in the modern era: Diseases are less deadly and wars are less frequent. But recent years have also been marked by a rise in radical extremism on the continent, and the terror threat could derail some of the world's fastest-growing economies. Dealing with the spread of radicalization has been a central focus of U.S. President Barack Obama's foreign policy during his time in office. Few areas have been spared over the past eight years, with much of the continent living in the shadow of a violent extremist group: al-Shabab in Somalia and East Africa, Islamic State (IS) in Libya, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in Mali, the Lord's...
(AFP (eng) 01/19/17)
The UN Security Council will vote Thursday on a draft resolution endorsing the West African bloc ECOWAS in its efforts to ensure a transfer of power in The Gambia, diplomats said. The Economic Community Of West African States has repeatedly called on leader Yahya Jammeh to respect the result of the December 1 election and step down after 22 years in power. Senegal presented the measure to the council on Wednesday, requesting UN approval for ECOWAS to take "all necessary measures" to force Jammeh to cede power to President-elect Adama Barrow. That language however was dropped from the draft resolution during negotiations late Wednesday, weakening the measure.
(AFP (eng) 01/19/17)
Ghana's new president has announced he is sending 205 soldiers to The Gambia as part of a regional force to enforce the result of the country's disputed election. Nana Akufo-Addo said in a statement late Wednesday that he had "approved and authorised the deployment of a combat team of 205 troops, backed with the appropriate logistical equipment". Nigeria on Thursday said it was contributing 200 soldiers and air assets, including fighter jets, to the regional force while Senegal, The Gambia's neighbour, said its troops were "on alert". Opposition candidate Adama Barrow won the December 1 election and was due to take office on Thursday.
(AFP (eng) 01/19/17)
Gambia's army chief said Wednesday he would not order his men to fight other African troops if they enter Gambian territory, speaking as Senegalese and other troops massed on his nation's borders. The Senegalese troops backed by other African forces are on standby to move into The Gambia as President Yahya Jammeh approaches a midnight deadline to stand down or face military action after refusing to leave at the end of his term. "We are not going to involve ourselves militarily. This is a political dispute,"
(AFP (eng) 01/19/17)
Senegalese troops backed by other African forces were poised to enter The Gambia Thursday after President Yahya Jammeh refused to leave office, ignoring a midnight deadline to stand down or face military action. Jammeh's army chief said his troops would not fight their entry into the country, as the Mauritanian president flew out of The Gambia following hopes of a last-minute deal to convince Jammeh to hand over power. "We are not going to involve ourselves militarily. This is a political dispute," Chief of Defence Staff Ousman Badjie said after eating dinner in a tourist district close to the capital Banjul, eyewitnesses told AFP. "I am not going to involve my soldiers in a stupid fight. I love my men,"...
(AFP (eng) 01/19/17)
Gambian president-elect Adama Barrow was to take power Thursday, capping weeks of tension over Yahya Jammeh's refusal to quit which has seen Senegalese and Nigerian troops massing at the border and tourists racing to leave. With Senegalese troops backed by Nigerian forces and fighter jets gathering, the country appeared on the brink of a military crisis although the army chief insisted his soldiers would not get involved in a "political dispute" nor prevent foreign forces from entering The Gambia. Despite a midnight (0000 GMT) deadline for the expiry of Jammeh's term, the situation remained calm in the city overnight, witnesses said following a last-minute mediation attempt by the Mauritanian president. Jammeh, who has ruled the former British colony with an...
(AFP (eng) 01/19/17)
Nigeria has sent 200 soldiers and air assets including fighter jets to Senegal as part of a regional force to enforce the result of Gambia's contested election, the country's air force said Wednesday. The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) said it had "today moved a contingent of 200 men and air assets comprising fighter jets, transport aircraft, light utility helicopter as well as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft to Dakar from where it is expected to operate into Gambia". The Economic Community Of West African States has repeatedly called on leader Yahya Jammeh to respect the result of the December 1
(AFP (eng) 01/19/17)
The Senegalese army said Wednesday it was ready to intervene in neighbouring Gambia failing a solution to the crisis triggered by President Yahya Jammeh's refusal to step down after his election defeat last month. "Our troops are on alert... The ultimatum takes effect at midnight," when Jammeh's mandate is due to expire, army spokesman Colonel Abdou Ndiaye told AFP. "If a political solution fails, we will engage" in operations in The Gambia, he said, confirming that Senegalese troops were heading to the border. Senegal also presented a draft resolution to the UN Security Council that would authorise the West African regional bloc ECOWAS to take "all necessary measures" to ensure a transfer of power in The Gambia, according to the...
(AFP (eng) 01/19/17)
Nigeria sent troops and fighter jets to Senegal in a show of military force Wednesday aimed at persuading Gambian President Yahya Jammeh to finally surrender power after an election defeat. Jammeh's mandate was due to end at midnight in Banjul but in recent weeks has steadfastly refused to leave office, prompting west African states to up the pressure on him after weeks of failed diplomacy. The 51-year-old Gambian leader announced a state of emergency on Tuesday, saying it was necessary because of interference from foreign powers in the country's December 1 election. Jammeh lost the poll to outsider Adama Barrow, who is currently sheltering in Senegal. In New York on Wednesday, its government requested United Nations support for regional action...
(Bloomberg 01/19/17)
Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh is negotiating stepping down with Mauritania’s president Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz as regional forces mass on the West African country’s borders to force him to cede power to Adama Barrow, who won an election last month, two people familiar with the situation said. Jammeh, who has ruled Gambia since 1994, is seeking a security detail and clearance to take his assets, the regional officials said, asking not to be identified because a public announcement has not been made. His request to stay in his home village of Kanilai has been denied, they said. It wasn’t clear where he will go. Barrow was due to be inaugurated Thursday but Jammeh had, after initially accepting the result, disputed...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/19/17)
Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz flew straight to Senegal to meet President Macky Sall after last ditch talks in Gambia aiming to resolve a crisis over its election, a Senegalese presidential source told Reuters on Thursday. Aziz left Gambia shortly before midnight, when Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh's presidential mandate expired. Senegal, with backing from regional leaders, has threatened to invade Gambia to depose Jammeh if he does not immediately hand over power to challenger Adama Barrow, who beat him in an election in December. (Reporting by Diadie Ba; Writing by Tim Cocks; Editing by Sandra Maler)
(AFP (eng) 01/18/17)
Senegal on Wednesday presented a draft resolution to the UN Security Council seeking support for ECOWAS efforts to press Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh to step down, diplomats said. But the text does not explicitly seek council authorization to deploy troops to The Gambia to force Jammeh to cede power to president-elect Adama Barrow, diplomats said. The Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) has repeatedly called on Jammeh to respect the result of the December 1 election and step down after 22 years in power. Jammeh on Tuesday declared a state of emergency as Barrow, who is currently in Senegal, maintained his inauguration will go ahead as planned on Thursday on Gambian soil. At Senegal's request, the Security Council will...
(AFP (eng) 01/18/17)
Gambian President Yahya Jammeh looked determined to cling to power on Wednesday as his mandate came to an end, while tourists packed onto planes in an exodus sparked by the country's state of emergency. Jammeh said Tuesday the emergency measure was necessary due to interference of foreign powers in the country's December 1 election, which the president of 22 years lost to opponent Adama Barrow. Barrow, who is currently sheltering in neighbouring Senegal, maintains his inauguration will go ahead on Thursday on Gambian soil, putting the country on a collision course. Jammeh's declaration immediately triggered travel advisory warnings by Britain and the Netherlands, with around 1,000 British tourists expected to leave on special flights on Wednesday alone. "It's because of...
(AFP (eng) 01/18/17)
The United States on Tuesday urged the outgoing Gambian President Yahya Jammeh to "peacefully hand over power" to his elected successor Adama Barrow, to prevent "potential chaos" in the small West African country. Despite being increasingly isolated and facing escalating international pressure, Jammeh declared a state of emergency just two days before he was due to step down on Thursday, denouncing what he called dangerous foreign meddling in the small West African country's post-electoral crisis. "President Jammeh is losing opportunities to respect the word of the Gambian people and to peacefully hand over power to the president-elect," said US State Department spokesman John Kirby. "Doing so would allow him to leave office with his head held high and to protect...
(AFP (eng) 01/18/17)
Gambian President Yahya Jammeh on Tuesday declared a state of emergency just two days before he is due to step down, citing "extraordinary" foreign interference in the country's post-electoral crisis. The declaration was necessary, he said on state television, after the "unprecedented and extraordinary amount of foreign interference in the December 1 presidential elections and also in the internal affairs of The Gambia." The 15-nation Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) has repeatedly called on Jammeh to respect the result of the vote he lost to opponent Adama Barrow and step
(Xinhuanet 01/18/17)
The Chinese government's decision to terminate ivory processing and trade by the end of 2017 marked a critical milestone in the journey toward eliminating poaching and other threats to Africa's elephant species, a conservationist group said on Wednesday. Kaddu Sebunya, president of African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) hailed China for taking bold measures to revitalize global efforts to save African elephants whose numbers had declined this decade due to poaching and climatic stresses. "The recent announcement by the central government of China to ban all domestic ivory trade by the end of 2017 offers a glimmer of real optimism in the fight against elephant poaching," Sebunya said in a statement issued in Nairobi The Chinese authority in December 2016 announced the...

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