The Nigerian Air Force has deployed a standby force to Senegal where it is expected to operate into Gambia.
In a statement shared on its Facebook page, the air force said the deployed troops were part of the Nigerian contingent of Economic Community of West African States Military Intervention in Gambia (ECOMIG).
The air force moved to Dakar today, Tuesday, January 18 and led by led by Air Cdre Tajudeen Yusuf.
“A contingent of 200 men and air assets comprising fighter jets, transport aircraft, Light Utility Helicopter as well as Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance aircraft” were deployed and are expected to “forestall hostilities or breakdown of law and order that may result from the current political impasse in The Gambia”.
President Yahya Jammeh of Gambia was supposed to hand over power to president-elect Adama Barrow on Thursday, January 19 but has insisted that he will remain in power in spite of moves by ECOWAS to mediate.
On Tuesday, January 17, Jammeh announced a state of emergency as a way of remaining in power.
Nigeria joins other West Africa troops deployed to Senegal to standby for further command.
See photos below:
According to the BBC, Senegalese troops were also seen moving close to the Gambian border in anticipation of command.
The Punch reports that Colonel Abdou Ndiaye who is the spokesperson of the Senegalese military confirmed that by midnight, it will engage if a political solution fails.