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World View: The Gambia’s Leader, Refusing to Step Down, Declares State of Emergency

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • The Gambia’s leader, refusing to step down, declares state of emergency
  • Burundi’s leader, refusing to step down, withdraws peacekeeping troops fighting al-Shabaab in Somalia

The Gambia’s leader, refusing to step down, declares state of emergency

 Supporters of incumbent President Yahya Jammeh sit at a campaign rally prior to the 1-Dec-2016 election that Jammeh lost to businessman Adama Barrow (Getty)
Supporters of incumbent President Yahya Jammeh sit at a campaign rally prior to the 1-Dec-2016 election that Jammeh lost to businessman Adama Barrow (Getty)

Britain is withdrawing almost 1,000 tourists from The Gambia, after president Yahya Jammeh declared a state of emergency two days before Jammeh’s term in office ends. Like many other African leaders, Jammeh is refusing to step down when his term in office officially ends on January 19.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has been mediating in the crisis hoping to convince Jammeh to step down peacefully on Thursday, something that now appears will not happen. There has been an implied threat that Senegal and other ECOWAS countries will send in a military force. Meanwhile, thousands of Gambians are fleeing the country or sending their children abroad, fearing a possible war. However, it’s not clear what the mission of such a military force would be, as some and perhaps most of The Gambian army is remaining loyal to Jammeh. Independent (London) and Guardian (London) and The Point (The Gambia)

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Burundi’s leader, refusing to step down, withdraws peacekeeping troops fighting al-Shabaab in Somalia

Burundi’s president Pierre Nkurunziza is withdrawing his troops from the African Union peacekeeping force, over a pay dispute with the European Union. The EU pays the salaries of the Burundi peacekeeping troops, but they don’t want to pay the money to Nkurunziza out of fear that he’ll just put the money into his overseas bank account, or use the money to buy weapons to be used against his political opponents.

Like many African leaders, Nkurunziza is refusing to step down, and instead is remaining in office in violation of Burundi’s constitution. As usual in Africa, this is about tribal violence. Nkurunziza is an ethnic Hutu, he’s conducting torture, sexual violence, arbitrary jailings, targeted assassinations and summary executions against his political opposition, almost all from the Tutsi tribe.

So the EU doesn’t want to pay the soldiers’ salaries, around $5.3 million per month, to the Nkurunziza government, but instead want to pay it directly to the soldiers. The peacekeeping force is really badly needed in Somalia, to fight the jihadist terror group al-Shabaab. Nkurunziza is now pulling out his troops from the peacekeeping force, hoping that he can extort the money out of the EU and use it to bash more political opponents. Vanguard (Nigeria) and Africa News and All Africa

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KEYS: Generational Dynamics, The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, Adama Barrow, Economic Community of West African States ECOWAS, Senegal, Burundi, Pierre Nkurunziza, African Union, European Union, Somalia, al-Shabaab
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