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ECOWAS leaders yet to find political solution in the Gambia

Arthur Douglas /Maximilian Kasseh, Jr.
 Information Minister, Eugene Nagbe
Information Minister, Eugene Nagbe

LIBERIA-Liberia’s Information Minister, Eugene Nagbe says ECOWAS remains resolved to using negotiations as opposed to force in ensuring a peaceful transition of power in The Gambia.

Minister Nagbe said: “ECOWAS Authority Chairperson, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, will continue to engage President Yahya Jammeh through various means, including direct telephone communications, to step down.”

He told ELBC Monday, January 16, 2017 that the sub-regional body recognizes President-elect Adama Barrow as leader of the Gambia, upon the expiration of Mr. Jammeh’s tenure on January 19, this week.

He said ECOWAS has also decided that Mr. Barrow will stay out of the Gambia until his inauguration later this week.

State Media in Senegal was quoted by the BBC as saying that the decision for Mr. Barrow to remain in Senegal was sanctioned by West African leaders after a summit in Mali.

According to the Information Minister, ECOWAS leaders took the decisions in Bamako, Mali, after their intervention failed.

Mr. Jammeh told a high power ECOWAS delegation, including President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, in Banjul during the weekend that he would not step down in the absence of the Supreme Court’s ruling which is expected in May 2017.

Reports from ECOWAS engagement last week with President Jammeh in the Gambia said the West African Regional Bloc suggested that the United Nations approve military action, if Mr. Barrow's Tuesday inauguration is blocked.

On Saturday, January 14, 2017, West African Leaders repeated calls for President Jammeh to attend voluntarily the Africa-France Summit in Bamako, Mali.

Mr. Barrow defeated President Jammeh in last month's election, was at the Bamako Summit and was referred to as the President.

President Yahya Jammeh, who initially admitted election defeat, said he will not step down ahead of the Supreme Court’s hearing slated for May this year.


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