West Africa to scale back military in The Gambia

West African nations plan to scale back a military force that secured the return to The Gambia of new President Adama Barrow to take power, the force commander said on Friday.
The mission of the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) regional bloc will see “a progressive reduction” in numbers, Senegalese General Francois Ndiaye said in a statement a day after the newly elected leader flew back to his homeland.
Barrow defeated longstanding hardline ruler Yahya Jammeh at the polls in December. He took refuge in neighbouring Senegal on January 15, fearing for his safety after Jammeh reversed his acceptance of the election result and sought for six weeks to cling to power.
The new leader was welcomed home by jubilant crowds on Thursday – five days after Jammeh left the country under strong pressure from the 15-nation regional bloc – while heavy security was laid on by Senegalese and Nigerian special forces.
The decision slowly to cut back on the military deployment was prompted by Barrow’s arrival and “a positive appraisal of the security situation in the country”, Ndiaye said.

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