Senegal's forces are at the Gambian border and will enter at midnight if veteran Gambian President Yahya Jammeh refuses to leave power, Colonel Abdou Ndiaye, a spokesman for the Senegalese army, told Reuters on Wednesday.
Jammeh, who lost a Dec. 1 election to opposition leader Adama Barrow, said he would not step down, citing irregularities in the vote. His official mandate was due to end at midnight GMT.
I guess somebody--not America--will get O'Donnell's dream of a military coup to halt a peaceful transfer of power.
Nigeria has deployed combat aircraft to Senegal to support the intervention, which has the backing of the west African bloc ECOWAS.
More from the BBC and AP.
I wonder if America's rapid reaction Marine force mostly in Spain might be used to evacuate American citizens from there if there is an ECOWAS intervention? V-22s and C-130s could likely stage to Senegal for operations into Gambia.
UPDATE: The new Gambian president sworn in to office in the safety of Senegal calls for the loyalty of his countries military; and Nigeria says it is deploying "troops"--which I assume refers to ground forces--just in case.
UPDATE: I knew I had a post on this (quoting Stripes):
Senegal, Ghana and Gabon are playing key roles as hosts to so-called cooperative security locations, which function as bare-bones launching pads for quick-reaction troops called upon to secure U.S. diplomatic facilities in the broader region, Rodriguez said.
So our forces could go right to Senegal in case we face a crisis in Gambia.
UPDATE: The ECOWAS operation to seat the newly elected president in office in Gambia has begun.
West African armies halted an operation in Gambia aimed at installing the country's new president, Adama Barrow, on Thursday so regional leaders could make one last attempt to convince longtime ruler Yahya Jammeh to step aside.
When you start to take Banjul, take Bamjul.
UPDATE: Perhaps the Gambian military isn't ready to fight for Jammeh.
And more here.
UPDATE: The head of Gambia's military pledged allegiance to the new president Barrow. Apparently there will be little resistance to the ECOWAS force. Is this just a case of Jammeh trying to get a better retirement package? Assuming he didn't grow rich as president with a bit of traditional corruption, that is.
UPDATE: Jammeh has left the country, although it is not exile. Barrow will become president. It's nice when something works out.
UPDATE: One more. Jammeh leaving is a victory for voting. But allowing Jammeh to loot the treasury before leaving is a defeat for rule of law.