Political turmoil in Gambia has driven about 45,000 people to flee to Senegal since January 1, the U.N. refugee agency says. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT. NO REPORTER NARRATION Political turmoil in Gambia has driven about 45,000 people, mainly children, to flee into Senegal since January 1, the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said on Friday (January 20), citing figures from the Senegalese government. "It is feared that more people may continue to flee as the situation remains tense," UNHCR spokesperson Babar Baloch said in a Geneva briefing. He said the displaced people are staying with family members, host families or hotels. "Some families are hosting up to 40 to 50 people and will soon need support as they may quickly run out of resources," Baloch said, adding that Senegalese authorities had prepared aid for 100,000 arrivals. Troops from regional bloc ECOWAS, spearheaded by Senegal and Nigeria, crossed into Gambia on Thursday (January 19) at the request of newly elected President Adama Barrow, who had to be sworn in at Gambia's embassy in Dakar as veteran leader Yahya Jammeh clings to office.