The people of the Gambia have being living with ECOMIG, a contingent of the Sub-regional soldiers at least for a little over four years now. They were deployed in the country at a time when the 2016 presidential elections were over and there was an impasse as the then defeated President (Yahya Jammeh) accepts results and later rescind decisions. Causing impasse and a power vacuum.
The December 2016 presidential elections results was doubted by the former President and the elected President Adama Barrow was not allowed to be sworn in on the soil of the land by Jammeh and Cohorts. Among them was the former short lived Information Minister (Seedy Njie) who swore that Barrow will never take oath of office here.
President elect Adama Barrow , had to flee the country first to Mali and later to Senegal where he was sworn-in as President of the Gambia first in the history of Gambia.
After taken his oath, Adama Barrow then invited the regional soldiers to come help Gambia; which answer was adhered to quickly. Since then these soldiers are[i] serving Gambia as security agents to the Presidency.
After four years some Gambians have demanded the withdrawal of the regional forces from our soil, and particularly those stationed in the Fonis. One, if not all the Sitting members the National Assembly asked for the withdrawal of these regional soldiers from their constituencies. The NAMs did not only want them out of the Fonis but that their presence affected their citizens; however those calls fell on deaf ears of the Government of Adama Barrow.
Again President Barrow requested the regional bloc in their last session to extend the services of the ECOMIG in the Gambia for another 12 months starting from January 2021 to December 2021.
The question which is not clear to Gambians is what format is the extension of stay of these forces (ECOMIG) which is proposed to be in a form of Police and not soldiers going to be? How then is the contingent going to be, will it be that the current soldiers be withdrawn and replaced with a sub-regional police force ? Does Gambia need the team anymore? Gambia government must come out and make things much clearer.