Edited: Jammeh declares State of Emergency

Yahya Jammeh

Coming under intense pressure both from within and without to step down after losing the December 1, 2016 election, President Yahya Jammeh of The Gambia has declared a State of Emergency in the country.

A copy of the resolution passed by the National Assembly today January 17, 2017 circulating on social media and seen by ghanabusinessnews.com says the Assembly had resolved to condemn what it calls the unlawful and malicious interference in the internal affairs of The Gamnbia by the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council, the Government of the Republic of Senegal and the Senegal’s representative at the United Nations Security Council.

The resolution signed by Fabakary T. Jatta – Majority Leader and Member for Serrekunda East further states;

“Be it resolved that this august Assembly do consider and approve a Resolution on the Proclamation of a State of Public Emergency in The Gambia for a further period of Ninety (90) days effective from 17th January – 17th April 2017.”

The Assembly further extended its own life for a period of another 90 days effective from April 11 to July 11, 2017.

Curiously, the resolution fails to mention the Economic Commission for West African States (ECOWAS) which has been the lead organization negotiating for a peaceful hand over of power.

The Resolution

President Jammeh lost the election, accepted defeat and offered to hand over power to the winner Adama Barrow, but reneged on that decision, rejected the results and called for fresh elections.

The ECOWAS had prevailed on him to step down he has been adamant. He petitioned the Supreme Court of The Gambia, the justices are unavailable to sit until May. His lawyer filed an injunction to stop the swearing-in of Barrow, but the Chief Justice, Emmanuel Fagbenle indicated he couldn’t grant the injunction.

As the stalemate continues four of his ministers resigned and fled the country. They are Sheriff Bojang, Communications Minister, Foreign Minister, Neneh Macdouall-Gaye, Abdou Kolley, Finance Minister and Abdou Jobe, Trade Minister.

Unconfirmed reports say, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice and Minister of the Environment have also resigned and fled.

There are also reports of citizens fleeing the country in large numbers.

ECOWAS, has indicated it would intervene militarily to remove Jammeh and install Barrow if the incumbent is unyielding after the end of his tenure on January 19, 2017.

By Emmanuel K Dogbevi
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