Use of Force Imminent As ECOWAS Plans To Oust Jammeh
The refusal of out going President Yaya Jammeh of The Gambia to agree to step down honourably on January 19, 2017 following his loss of the December 1, 2016 presidential election to the coalition of opposition parties’ candidate, Mr. Adam Barrow, has left the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) leaders with no other option than to eject him from office by military force.
Sources familiar withe situation said yesterday that after the last minute efforts by the ECOWAS delegation led by President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday hit the rocks with Jammeh insisting he would not step down until May when the Supreme Court of The Gambia reviewed his petition, challenging the election, the ECOWAS leaders decided to activate the military option of forcing him out of office and installing Barrow.
Preparatory to the military action, ECOWAS service chiefs met last Saturday in Abuja with Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin, presiding.
Top on the agenda was the inauguration of ECOWAS Military Intervention Group (ECOMIG), which would escort Barrow from Senegal to The Gambia for inauguration on Thursday.
ECOWAS leaders had quartered Barrow in Senegal for his safety, pending his inauguration as the president of The Gambia.
Jammeh had filed a motion with the country’s apex court to prevent Barrow from being sworn into office on Thursday. But the court could not sit because it could not form a quorum.
Meanwhile the defeated president is insisting that he will not step down until the country’s Supreme Court delivers the final judgment on the dispute.
Thousands of Gambians are said to have fled their country over fears of possible military confrontation between forces loyal to Jammeh and the sub-regional military forces.
ECOWAS and the African Union (AU) have insisted that Jammeh, whose tenure ends on January 19, would cease to be the President of Gambia by January 20.
ECOWAS had also pledged to send troops to ensure a peaceful transition of power if Jammeh, who had ruled for over 20 years, refused to cede power.
State-owned Senegalese news agency, APS reported yesterday that Senegal will host Barrow until his swearing-in ceremony due to take place on Thursday.
The agency said Senegalese President Macky Sall accepted to host Barrow in line with the request of the ECOWAS at a Franco-African summit in the Malian capital Bamako on Saturday.
Radio France Internationale had earlier quoted Togolese President, Faure Gnassingbe as saying that ECOWAS had set Thursday as a deadline to try to resolve the crisis.
In his welcome address to the sub-regional defence chiefs in Abuja, Olonisakin said the regional leaders and military commanders were ready to continue with the option of dialogue with the political leaders of The Gambia to ensure peaceful transition of power.
The meeting was also said to have resolved that each member country of ECOWAS should assembly troops that would be deployed in The Gambia and install the new president in accordance with the will of the people, which they expressed with their ballot on December 1, 2016 as well as The Gambia’s constitution.
Though no communique was issued at the end of the meeting, the Defence Headquarters, in a statement published on its website, listed military chiefs at the event to include: the chairperson of ECOWAS Chief of Defence Staffs, Brig. Gen. Daniel Ziankahn of Liberia; CH Gueye of Senegal; ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Hajiya Salamatu; Vice President of the Commission; the Ghanian Chief of Defence Staff and principal staff officers from Defence, Army, Navy, and Air Force Headquarters.
On Friday, Barrow attended the Franco-African summit, while Mr. Jammeh was absent.
A statement by Barrow’s office said Jammeh’s meeting with Buhari and other ECOWAS representatives was “unproductive.”
Buhari had led a three-nation delegation to Banjul, but Nigeria’s Foreign Minister, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, said the delegation could not persuade Jammeh to relinquish power.
Briefing the UN Security Council on the crisis, the Head of UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Mr. Mohamed Chambas, had admitted that “some countries in the region had witnessed political uncertainty or significant security challenges.’’
“We were saddened by the quickly unfolding political crisis resulting from President Jammeh changing his mind and deciding to reject the results,’’ he said.
“UNOWAS is fully involved in supporting the ECOWAS-led mediation, which continues to explore all avenues towards a peaceful transfer of power,” he added.
China and EU Seek Partnership: Xi Jinping Proposes Key Trade Alliance
Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed his desire for China and the European Union (EU) to become key trade partners and foster trust in supply chains, during a meeting with EU leaders in Beijing.
The talks marked the first in-person summit between the two sides in four years and addressed a range of economic concerns, including data flows and market access.
Xi emphasized China’s commitment to high-quality development and opening up, positioning the EU as a crucial partner in economic and trade cooperation.
He envisioned the EU as a trusted collaborator in industrial and supply chain cooperation, aiming for mutual benefits and win-win results.
The summit delved into longstanding issues, such as efforts by Europe to “de-risk” its supply chains and the EU’s anti-subsidies investigation into Chinese-made electric vehicles.
China criticized the investigation, urging the EU to avoid using it for “trade protectionism.”
Xi called for the elimination of interference between China and the EU, a statement likely directed at the United States, which has taken actions, including enlisting the Netherlands, to curb China’s development of high-end semiconductors.
The EU leaders, Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel, described their conversation with Xi as “good and candid.”
They discussed the main challenges amid increasing geopolitical frictions, emphasizing a commitment to balanced trade relations and pledging to enhance people-to-people exchanges.
During the meeting, Italy formally informed China of its exit from the Belt and Road Initiative, highlighting ongoing strains between the EU and China.
Xi discussed Belt and Road with EU leaders, expressing a willingness to connect it with the EU’s Global Gateway infrastructure plan.
However, deep issues remain, including Russia’s war in Ukraine, trade imbalances, and Chinese overcapacity exported to Europe.
Jens Eskelund, president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, stressed the need to address these issues to foster a positive relationship between Beijing and Brussels.
UAE Commits $30 Billion as COP28 Climate Talks Kick Off in Dubai
Nigeria Eyes BRICS Membership within Two Years as Foreign Minister Emphasizes Strategic Alignment
In a strategic move towards global economic collaboration, Nigeria is aspiring to join the BRICS group of nations within the next two years.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, affirmed that Nigeria is open to aligning itself with groups that demonstrate good intentions, well-meaning goals, and clearly defined objectives.
Tuggar stated, “Nigeria has come of age to decide for itself who her partners should be and where they should be; being multiple aligned is in our best interest.”
He emphasized the need for Nigeria to be part of influential groups like BRICS and the G-20, citing criteria such as population and economy size that position Nigeria as a natural candidate.
BRICS, comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, stands as a formidable bloc of emerging market powers.
In a recent move to expand its influence, BRICS invited six additional nations, including Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, Argentina, Ethiopia, and the United Arab Emirates, to join the group.
Nigeria, as Africa’s largest economy, has been absent from the BRICS alliance, prompting discussions on the potential economic and political advantages the bloc could offer the country.
Analysts have noted that BRICS membership could provide Nigeria with significant leverage on the global stage.
Vice President Kashim Shettima clarified that Nigeria did not apply for BRICS membership after the bloc’s announcement of new members in August.
Shettima emphasized the principled approach of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, highlighting a commitment to consensus building in decisions related to international partnerships.
As Nigeria eyes BRICS membership, the move is seen as a strategic step towards enhancing its global economic and diplomatic influence.
Business3 weeks ago
Nigeria’s Logistics Sector Holds Untapped N3tn Potential, Says Courier and Logistics Management Institute
Black Market Rate4 weeks ago
Black Market Exchange Rate Today 14th November 2023
News4 weeks ago
Millionaire Powerplay Limited Unveils Unprecedented Odds in American Lotto’s Instant Cashless Payout
Forex3 weeks ago
Black Market Exchange Rate Today 16th November 2023
Forex4 weeks ago
Black Market Exchange Rate Today 10th November 2023
Black Market Rate3 weeks ago
Black Market Exchange Rate Today 21st November 2023
Telecommunications3 weeks ago
Airtel Africa Announces Interim Dividend Amidst Robust Half-Year Performance
Naira4 weeks ago
N-Power Dismisses Fake Recruitment Reports, Highlights Ongoing Payment Resolutions