Gambian Electoral Crisis: ECOWAS Recognises Adama Barrow

Meeting in Nigeria over the weekend, Heads of State promised to attend his inauguration on January 19, 2016.

Leaders of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, have made their stance known on the deadlock following the disputed results of the December 1, 2016 presidential polls in The Gambia, Thisday newspaper reported yesterday, December 18, 2016.

Rising from a summit meeting in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, Nigeria on December 17, 2016, the Heads of State declared that the recognised winner of the election as announced by the Independent Electoral Commission was opposition leader Adama Barrow; not President Yahya Jammeh.

Some 11 Heads of State attended the summit, while four were represented. Participants requested all 15 leaders of the sub-regional body to be present in Banjul on January 19, 2017, for Barrow’s inauguration, promising to take charge of his security from henceforth. The Chair of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, urged sub-regional leaders to recommend other long-lasting solutions to the crisis.

Liberia’s Foreign Affairs Minister and Chairperson, ECOWAS Council of Ministers, Marjon Kamara, said the body had called on President Jammeh to accept the result of the polls and refrain from any action likely to compromise the peaceful transfer of power to the President-elect. He charged Gambian defence and security forces to perform their role in a nationalistic manner and protect lives and property, Thisday said. Meanwhile, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari is to head a mediatory committee on the Gambian crisis, assisted by President John Mahama of Ghana.

ECOWAS has also solicited the African Union and United Nations to endorse all decisions taken on the crisis in The Gambia, including the provision of technical assistance to the mediation efforts. In neighbouring Senegal, some 150 exiled Gambians on December 17, 2016, staged a protest march calling for the will of the people to be respected, Radio France Internationale, reported.

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