Was ECOWAS’ Intervention in Gambia a Sign of Things to Come in West Africa?

Gambian President Adama Barrow after arriving at Banjul airport, Gambia, Jan. 26, 2017 (AP photo by Jerome Delay).
Gambian President Adama Barrow after arriving at Banjul airport, Gambia, Jan. 26, 2017 (AP photo by Jerome Delay).

Gambia’s new president, Adama Barrow, finally returned to the country yesterday, his arrival formally marking the end of a six-week political crisis. Barrow was elected president on Dec. 1. He initially received a concession call from his opponent, Yahya Jammeh. But Jammeh, in power since 1994, reversed course within days. Refusing to step down, he instead attempted to use various forms of intimidation and legal maneuvering—a state of emergency, a parliamentary extension of his powers and a legal suit—to block the transition. West Africa’s regional bloc, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), responded quickly and forcefully. Demanding that […]

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