Nigeria says warship on way toward Gambia as 'exercise'

AP News
Posted: Jan 18, 2017 6:53 AM

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria confirms one of its warships is heading toward Gambia but calls it a "flag-showing and West Africa training" exercise as the tiny West African nation faces a possible regional military intervention.

Nigerian Navy spokesman Capt. Dahun Jahun responded Wednesday to local media reports that the warship was a show of force in an effort to get Gambia's president to step down.

The West African regional bloc ECOWAS has said a standby military force is ready to intervene if President Yahya Jammeh doesn't leave after losing elections.

But Gambian lawmakers have just extended Jammeh's term by three months.

Jahun also says Nigeria's air force is contributing 200 troops for the standby force.

Senegal and Ghana also are contributing to the standby force.