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Snowe on ECOWAS Mission

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Snowe on ECOWAS Mission

The Chairman of the Political Affairs and Security Committee of the ECOWAS Parliament, Senator Edwin Snowe has paid an official visit to the Headquarters of the ECOWAS Military Intervention in The Gambia or ECOMIG, ahead of that country’s election in December.

Snowe was accompanied by the Special Representative of the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Ambassador Vabah K. Gayflor.

The ECOWAS security envoy discussed among other things the restoration of democracy to The Gambia with emphasis on the upcoming elections in December.

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Snowe in a chat with ECOMIG ranking officer

The visit of the ECOWAS Chairman of the Political Affairs and Security Committee was commissioned by the Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Rt. Hon. Dr. Sidie Mohamed Tunis.

Briefing the Chair on Political Affairs and Special Representative of the President of the ECOWAS Commission, the Head of the ECOWAS Military Intervention in The Gambia provided an introduction on ECOMIG’s mandate; an overview of the Political and Security situations; the scope of ECOMIG deployment, as well as activities, achievements, challenges, and way forward in restoring democracy to The Gambia.

He disclosed that the constitution review process, truth, reconciliation, and reparation processes, as well as the voters’ registration exercise, are activities that are characterizing the political landscape of the country. He emphasized that the contending issue relative to the draft constitution is whether or not the first five years of President Barrow’s term should be considered as the start of his mandate. He also disclosed that the TRRC ended its public hearing on 28th May 2021 and is expected to deliver its report in early July of this year.

Addressing the security situation in the country, the Head of Troops divulged that the security situation throughout the country is relatively calm but remains unpredictable. He reiterated ECOMIG’s support for the conduct of operation ZERO CRIME by a task force of local security agencies to combat crime, an exercise that has yielded many results. He revealed that at current, the Mission has a total of 1000 men actively deployed across different parts of the country.

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Snowe, Gayflor flanked by ECOMIG Generals

Addressing the troops, the Chairman of the Parliament’s Committee on Political Affairs, Peace, Security, and African Peer Review Mechanism thanked the troops for their sacrifice and dedication to serve the region. He recalled ECOMOG’s successes in Liberia and Sierra Leone and expressed strong anticipation that similar accomplishments will be replicated in The Gambia. He pledged Parliament’s unflinching support for ECOWAS operations in The Gambia and wished the troops well as it strives to restore much-needed democracy in the West African State.

Recall that in early 2017, The Gambia experienced the first democratic change of leadership since independence, ending 22 years of rule of former president Yahya Jammeh.

After weeks of political stalemate following presidential elections on 1 December 2016, on January 19, 2017, on the first day of his term, President Adama Barrow was inaugurated while in temporary exile in the Gambian Embassy in Senegal; at the time incumbent president Jammeh refused to accept electoral defeat. However, domestic, and international political pressure combined with the threat of military action by an Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) mission in The Gambia (ECOMIG) finally prompted Jammeh to leave the country, paving the way for the return of President Barrow on 26 January 2017.

The ECOMIG mandate has been extended by ECOWAS Heads of States various times and was recently extended to run until December 2021.

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