Halifa Sallah, Spokesperson of the Gambia’s Coalition government has confirmed the arrival of the sub-regional troops in the country after been hanging around the borders as operations where halted.
The troops dubbed ECOMIG were surrounding the country ready to intervene and remove former President Jammeh if he had failed to agree with the last mediating team for him to hand over power peacefully to President Adama Barrow.
In his first press conference at the Kairaba Beach Hotel on Sunday, day after former President Jammeh left into exile, Halifa Sallah who hinted of the possibility for President Adama Barrow to name his Cabinet tomorrow, Monday, January 23rd, made it clear that the troops are in the country to collaborate and work with their Gambian counterparts in various security areas.
“The ECOWAS forces are in the country to collaborate with the Gambian forces. They are not here on invasion” Sallah said.
He mentioned the support of a senior Gambian security chief who he said knows the country, army and institutions and coming to help in stabilising the country.
“A Gambian senior security chief who knows the country, army and institutions will arrive tomorrow to help the troops to ensure stability in the country,” he pointed out, adding the respect for the sovereignty of the country is very important.
According to Sallah, the Gambian people have decided to carry out the most peaceful revolution in the history of the country and called for everyone to maintain peace and order.
“We have to nurture peace. The security have to respect our sovereignty,” he governments.
Sallah said he met the Gambian security chiefs and told them to release all political prisoners across the country which he said have been executed. He then announced to every Gambian that anyone who knows of a political prisoner not released yet should inform him or the Inspector General of Police.
Meanwhile, Sallah reacted to the purported joint declaration by ECOWAS, AU and UN saying the new government was not party or signatory to the document. He said he cannot confirm neither deny that the former president went with some properties. He said only the new president can decide on the properties of the former president.
Sallah touched the issue establishing a Truth and Reconciliation Commission saying it will inquire the properties and human rights issues and any person found wanting would face justice no matter where the person is living. “We are talking about lawfully acquired properties,” he said.
He quickly made it clear that one should not presume guilt without substantial evidence saying the aggrieved parties should bring their complaints for redress and compensated in the interest of justice.