Guterres commends ECOWAS for role in Gambia’s peaceful transition

The United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has commended the ‘extraordinary’ unity and leadership showed by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in defending democracy in The Gambia by peacefully ousting former President Yahya Jammeh after weeks of political stalemate.

In a press release copied to, Mr. Guterres said the unity in ECOWAS and the restraint of the people of The Gambia in the face of possible conflict was commendable.

“The extraordinary union showed by ECOWAS is even a lesson to the world,” Mr Guterres was cited as saying in the release.

“When we see so many conflicts multiplying, the only way to allow the international community to be able to address those conflicts, the only way to allow the international community to act boldly, is with unity of the countries of the region, able to serve together and in the same universal principles,” he said.

“Our world needs to move from managing crises to preventing them in the first place. Too often the world responds too late and too little. I look forward to exploring with you how to break that cycle,” he added.

Mr. Guterres, outlined that the UN and Africa could work together to improve the lives of the ordinary people by raising the level of the two organisations’s strategic partnership in implementing Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda, and in promoting peace and security and human rights on the continent, the release noted.

He further assured the UN’s support for regional integration, including efforts to establish the Continental Free Trade Area as the continent continues in its effort to push for the structural transformation of its economy.

The Secretary-General pledged his “full commitment to work with you in solidarity and respect to advance peace and security on the continent and realize the vision of Agenda 2063 and its promise of building “the Africa we want”. It noted.

By Pamela Ofori-Boateng

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