This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com
- Senegal’s troops enter The Gambia to force the ruler to step down
- Why you have to say ‘The Gambia’, rather than just ‘Gambia’
Senegal’s troops enter The Gambia to force the ruler to step down
Supporters of president-elect Adama Barrow celebrate his inauguration at Gambia’s embassy in Dakar, Senegal on Thursday (Reuters)
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), with Senegal in the lead, sent a military force into The Gambia on Thursday to begin traveling to the capital city Banjul, in order to force the long-time dictator Yahya Jammeh to step down, having lost the last election in December. Nigeria has sent aircraft and troops to Senegal, and deployed a warship. Jammeh has been dictator since a 1994 coup, but with his election loss, his mandate ends on Thursday, January 19. If Jammeh steps down without bloodshed, then he will be permitted to go into exile in the country of his choice.
On the same day, the winner of December’s election, Adama Barrow, was sworn in as president at Gambia’s embassy in Dakar, the capital city of Senegal. That makes Barrow the legitimate leader of The Gambia, with the international authority to approve the ECOWAS military force. The United Nations Security Council immediately approved the ECOWAS military action.
Analysts are mixed in their assessments of whether the military action will succeed. Jammeh is becoming increasingly isolated, in that many people in his government have resigned, and some army soldiers have indicated that they will not defend Jammeh. However, there are still some soldiers that are loyal to Jammeh, and a battle with Senegalese soldiers could go either way.
As of this writing on Thursday evening ET (Friday morning in The Gambia), ECOWAS announced that it was halting its military operation in order to permit weekend negotiations for a mediated settlement. ECOWAS will send a team led by Guinea’s president, Alpha Conde, and including the presidents of Liberia and Mauritania to Banjul on Friday. Reuters and BBC and AP
- The Gambia’s leader, refusing to step down, declares state of emergency (18-Jan-2017)
- The Gambia’s president prepares for war with Senegal on January 19 (07-Jan-2017)
Why you have to say ‘The Gambia’, rather than just ‘Gambia’
There are two reasons why “The Gambia” has “The” in front of its name:
- When the Portuguese first explored the country, they named it after The River Gambia, and so it became The Gambia.
- So it won’t be confused with another African country, Zambia.
Other geographic locations that demand the definite article are The Bahamas and The Hague.
And let’s not forget the immortal words of Ogden Nash who, in 1931, said “The Bronx? No thonx.” Later in life, as an “older and wiser man,” he apologized and wrote, “The Bronx? God bless them.” Africa News and NAIJ (Nigeria) and Blogden Nash
KEYS: Generational Dynamics, The Gambia, Banjul, Yahya Jammeh, Adama Barrow, Senegal, Dakar, Nigeria, Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, The Bahamas, The Hague, The Bronx, Ogden Nash
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