The ECOWAS Heads of State have reached a decision on The Gambia. The regional bloc said in a Communique that all its Heads of State would attend the January 19 inauguration of president-elect, Adama Barrow.
President Yahya Jammeh of The Gambia, an ECOWAS member-state has refused to step down after being in power for 22 years following a coup in which he toppled the tiny country’s first president, Sir Dawda Jawara.
Jammeh was defeated in an election December 1, 2016. He conceded and promised to help the president-elect during the transitional period, but changed his mind a week later rejecting the election results and calling for fresh elections.
The international community including governments and the United Nations have called on him to step down, but he has been adamant.
Soldiers supporting Jammeh have taken over the offices of the Independent Electoral Commission and barred the employees from entering.
Some of the ECOWAS heads are calling for military intervention, should Jammeh refuse to step down peacefully, and Senegal, its closest neighbour has its military on standby.
In a Communique after the Summit on Saturday December 17, in Abuja, ECOWAS among others called on Jammeh to accept he election results and refrain from any action likely to compromise the transition and peaceful transfer of power to the president-elect.
The leaders agreed to uphold the result of the December 1, 2016 election in the Republic of The Gambia and guarantee the safety and protection of the president-elect Adama Barrow.
They agreed also that all Head of States will attend the inauguration of the president-elect who must be sworn in on January 19, 2017 in conformity with the Gambian constitution.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi
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