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Nigeria confirms deployment of fighter jets, navy and 200 soldiers to Gambia

19 January 2017, 07:08

Abuja - The Nigerian government has confirmed that it has deployed fighter jets and at least 200 soldiers to join their Senegalese counterparts for a Gambian mission.

The spokesperson of the Nigerian Air Force, Ayodele Famuyiwa, confirmed the deployment in a statement sent to the media.

“The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has deployed to Senegal as part of Nigerian contingent of Economic Community of West African States Military Intervention in Gambia (ECOMIG) – a standby force tasked by ECOWAS Heads of State to enforce the December 1, 2016 election mandate in the The Gambia,” Famuyiwa said.

“The NAF 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.”

ECOWAS had indicated its intention to forcefully remove President Yahya Jammeh from office should he decide to remain in power beyond Thursday, January 19, the date he is constitutionally expected to handover to President-elect Adama Barrow.

Jammeh has remained defiant, saying he would not leave office until the Supreme Court hears his petition challenging Mr. Barrow’s widely acclaimed victory.

Read the full statement by the Nigerian Air Force spokesperson below.

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has deployed to Senegal as part of Nigerian contingent of Economic Community of West African States Military Intervention in Gambia (ECOMIG) – a standby force tasked by ECOWAS Heads of State to enforce the December 1, 2016 election mandate in the The Gambia.

The NAF 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 deployment is also to forestall hostilities or breakdown of law and order that may result from the current political impasse in The Gambia.

Addressing the contingent before departure, the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar urged the troops to maintain discipline and be professional in their conduct. Reminding them to be good ambassadors of Nigeria, the CAS stated that no act of indiscipline by the contingent would be tolerated.

The contingent, led by Air Cdre Tajudeen Yusuf, was airlifted this morning from 117 Air Combat Training Group Kainji. Other troop contributing countries include Senegal, Ghana and countries within the sub-region.













- News 24

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