Gambian Crisis And Security Issues Dominate Mali summit

The President-elect of Gambia, Adama Barrow was present at the Mali summit with world leaders on Saturday which was being hosted by France in the western African country of Mali.

This came after Adama Barrow held talks with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, Liberia’s Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, as well as former president of Ghana, John Mahama.

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France’s President Francois Hollande was particularly interested in meeting Barrow, according to reports.

Although leaders of various nations have called on President Yahya Jammeh to accept the outcome of the result, the Gambian heavyweight – who has ruled for 22 years – insists on waiting for the Supreme Court to decide on his appeal. It is speculated that such a decision will not be made before May. Meanwhile, Adama Barrow is set to be sworn in on 19th January.

The head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, said on Friday that ECOWAS would ask the Security Council to approve the deployment of troops to The Gambia if Jammeh refuses to step aside. However, President Jammeh said on Tuesday that “undue external interference” was unnecessary.

The agenda of the Mali summit focused on security and the fight against extremism. Other topics discussed include governance challenges and Africa’s role in the European migrant crisis.

Most countries present at the summit were former colonies of the western European country. Other African leaders present at the summit include President Mugabe and Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame whose relationship with France are strained.

As a solution to the jihad problem in francophone Africa, France has been training African soldiers every year since 2013 as a way to reduce direct military intervention. The troops are said to be more than 20,000 per year with a projected increase to 250,000 per year by 2020.

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President Francois Hollande emphasized the similarity in the jihad situation faced between his country, Africa and the Middle East.

“The terrorists who attack our land, who commit acts on our soil, are allied with those who are in the Levant, in Iraq and Syria, but here as well, in the Sahel,” Hollande said.