Gambia’s former president Yahya Jammeh has refused to accept the result of the recent presidential election. File picture: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters
Gambia’s former president Yahya Jammeh has refused to accept the result of the recent presidential election. File picture: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters

ECOWAS to take 'major decision' on Gambia

By Reuters Time of article published Jan 6, 2017

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Abuja - West African leaders will take a

"major decision" on the political impasse in Gambia at a meeting

in Ghana on Saturday, a spokesman for the Nigerian presidency

said on Friday.

The West African ECOWAS bloc said last month it would take

all necessary steps to uphold the result of a Dec. 1 election in

Gambia, where veteran President Yahya Jammeh says he will not

step down after losing to Adama Barrow.

ECOWAS has placed standby forces on alert in case Jammeh

attempts to stay in power after his mandate ends on Jan. 19.

Jammeh has called the bloc's stance "a declaration of war", and

said he will defend himself.

"A major decision on the impasse is expected to be taken at

that all-important meeting," said Garba Shehu, spokesman for

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari.

"President Buhari is the chief mediator of the crisis and he

is committed to ensuring that the logjam is resolved."

Jammeh initially accepted his loss in the December 1 election,

shocking Gambians who have lived through his repressive rule

since he took power in a 1994 coup, and triggering celebrations

in the streets.

But a week later changed his mind, saying the electoral

commission had been biased by "foreign influences" and vowing to

hang on despite regional and international condemnation.

Jammed says ECOWAS has no right to interfere in Gambia's

internal affairs, and that Gambians should await the outcome of

a legal challenge that his APRC party has lodged at the Supreme

Court. 

Reuters

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