The Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, president, Marcel de Souza, has explained why West African troops in the Gambia (ECOMIG) are still in the country following the exit of Yahya Jammeh.
He said the force was there to protect the people and maintain order as new President Adama Barrow prepares to assume office.
In a chat with members of the Diplomatic Corps on the political situation in The Gambia, De Souza said ECOWAS does not have the intention of invading any country of member states.
“The ECOWAS mission in the Gambia was misunderstood. It was said that since Yahya Jammeh had left the country, what is the force still doing there? The forces are not there to fire shots but to secure the situation,” he said.
He disclosed that there were heavily-armed mercenaries in the country and this posed threat to the life of the President Barrow.
“We cannot allow Adama Barrow to move into the country in such a situation,” he said, adding that the troops would be there for the situation to improve.
Barrow remains in neighbouring Senegal amd De Souza did not mention when the new president would return to his country.