The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has called on outgoing Gambian president Yahya Jammeh to respect the outcome of the December 1 polls which they described as free and fair.
The OIC in a statement released on Thursday December 14, said they shared the position of other international and regional organizations which endorsed the results of the election. Adding that rejection of the results will bring about instability and undermine national unity.
The Gambia is a member of the OIC, which is the second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations. It has 56 other member states and the Gambia is set to host the next summit of the body.
The statement signed by its Secretary General, Yousuf Al-Othaimeen also said they supported continued efforts by international and regional bodies aiming to help fix the current crisis arising from the refusal of Jammeh to accept the results of the polls.
The regional political bloc, the Economic Commission of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) led in condemnation of his new position. The Gambia’s only landed neighbour Senegal also joined in the condemnation.
ECOWAS sent a number of African leaders led by its chair Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to mediate in the situation. The mediation ended in a stalemate after the leaders met both Jammeh and victor of the polls, president-elect Adama Barrow.
Jammeh led the Gambia out of the Commonwealth in 2013, The decision to quit the United Kingdom’s league of nations was because Jammeh’s Gambia was not going to be part of any neo-colonial institution.
Subsequently, Jammeh declared the country an Islamic republic in December 2015 as part of efforts to distance Gambia from its colonial past. Jammeh came to power through a bloodless coup in 1994, he was elected in 1996 and reelected continuously in 2001, 2006 and 2011.
His regime has been accused by NGOs and foreign governments of forced disappearances and harassment of the press and human rights activist, the government regularly rejects such accusations.