It looks like it’s all over and situation has been resolved entirely peacefully.
Ex-president Jammeh has left The Gambia and been flown to Guinea from where he will go into exile I presume in Nigeria.
When it was clear that the Senegalese army was preparing to invade, General Ousman Badjie the head of Gambian army stated that he had no intention of fighting the Senegalese, that the crisis was a political matter not a military one and he didn’t want a war with anyone. He went on to declare his loyalty to the country’s new president Adama Barrow, at this point with ECOWAS threatening to use force if Jammeh did not step down it must have been obvious to Jammeh that there was no point in trying to cling on. Whatever was said to him by the presidents of Guinea and Mauretania in last minute negotiations, there was no way that he could realistically stay on. According to the BBC it was feared that an elite unit The Gambia National Guard who were for ethnic reasons loyal to ex-president Jammeh and not General Badjie might decide to fight, however I guess they had the sense not to commit suicide. Had it come to war a lot of innocent people would have ended up dying for precisely nothing, there’s no way that Jammeh’s supporters could have won, I hope that the Gambia will now return to normal, this situation has clearly done nothing for the tourist trade that the country depends on.
Although I felt that the UK should perhaps have done more to help resolve this given that The Gambia was a former British colony, I’m actually on reflection very glad that we didn’t have to, and that Africa sorted it out without the need for outside assistance. I hope this will send a clear message to other African leaders who might try to outstay their welcome that the age of the ‘Big Man’ really is coming to an end; at least in West Africa and that the future is genuine democracy.