Gambia’s army chief, Ousman Badjie, said he recognized new President Adama Barrow as the new commander-in-chief and would not fight a regional force poised to depose Yahya Jammeh, who has refused to step down.
“We are going to welcome them with flowers and make them a cup of tea,” Badjie told Reuters in an interview today.
“This is a political problem. It’s a misunderstanding. We are not going to fight Nigerian, Togolese or any military that comes.”
Mr. Badjie had initially pledged loyalty to Mr. Barrow after the stunning announcement of his victory in the 1 December election.
He, however, made a volte face again after Mr. Jammeh challenged Mr. Barrow’s election.
The army general was seen yesterday in the streets of Banjul jubilating with the people after the swearing-in of Mr. Barrow in Dakar, Senegal.
His pledge of loyalty to Mr. Barrow came as Jammeh prepares to leave the country, although he missed the 4 p.m. deadline given by ECOWAS.
Some reports said he was writing a last note before he departs to Guinea Conakry on exile.