Regional military force in Gambia being reduced to 500

Authorities say the West African regional military force that has been securing Gambia during its political transition is being reduced to 500 troops.

A statement from the regional bloc says the ECOMIG troop reduction is effective later this month. The force has contributions from Senegal, Nigeria and Ghana, and its mandate has just been extended by three months.

Nearly 3,000 troops were sent to pressure longtime dictator Yahya Jammeh, who last month went into exile in Equatorial Guinea after more than 22 years in power.

ECOMIG says its mission now is to provide security for the president and other government members. It also seeks to "facilitate the establishment of trust" between the new government and security forces that had been under Jammeh's control for many years.