European Union announces $240m aid to Gambia

Also on Thursday, Gambia committed to reversing its decision to withdraw from the International Criminal Court, Mimica said. The country's previous ruler began the formal process of withdrawal past year.

The EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, is in the country as part of efforts to streamline relations with The Gambia. "Excellent news", Mimica said.

The troops had entered Gambia after former President Yahya Jammeh refused to leave power despite losing the Presidential election.

A country of only 2 million people, Gambia's weak economy and years of political repression have made it one of the leading source countries of migrants trying to reach Europe from Africa.

Jammeh's government at the time described the ICC as an "International Caucasian Court" that targeted only Africans.

West African troops have had their mandate extended for three more months in The Gambia, as President Adama Barrow carries out large-scale reforms of the army and intelligence services.

Barrow had initially requested that the ECOWAS force's mission be extended by six months, a senior United Nations official said late last month.

Mimica, the European Union official, also announced an $80 million package of support for Gambia as the worldwide community warms to Barrow's vows to reverse many of Jammeh's policies, including freeing political prisoners.

  • Leroy Wright