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Gambia: UN rights chief concerned, EU ready to work with Barrow

Gambia: UN rights chief concerned, EU ready to work with Barrow

Gambia

The United Nations (UN) Human Rights Chief, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has expressed worry about the political situation in The Gambia.

The UN’s concerns are especially with the deployment of security forces in the tiny West African country after outgoing president Yahya Jammeh rejected presidential election results he had earlier accepted.

“This is deeply worrying, given the record of human rights violations in The Gambia, including excessive use of force against demonstrators, arbitrary detention and deaths in custody, as well as allegations of torture and ill-treatment of detainees,” Zeid said.

The European Union is looking forward to fully engage with President-elect Adama Barrow as soon as he has taken office on 18 January, to step up our relations in a wide range of areas and support progress regarding democracy, human rights, good governance and sustainable and inclusive development.

Whiles calling for all political stakeholders to respect conduct themselves in a manner that contributes to a peaceful atmosphere during this crucial period, he also tasked Jammeh to respect the independent status of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).

EU expresses readiness to engage with Barrow after January 18

Meanwhile the European Union (EU) following up on its condemnation of Jammeh’s U-turn on the December 1 polls has welcomed political dialogue efforts by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union (AU).

The EU reiterated its call for Jammeh to respect the will of the people and the outcome of the elections. Commenting on this week’s seizure of the electoral commission, the EU said, ‘‘The occupation of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) premises by Gambian security forces is unacceptable, as it violates the principle of independence of the IEC.’‘

‘‘The European Union is looking forward to fully engage with President-elect Adama Barrow as soon as he has taken office on 18 January, to step up our relations in a wide range of areas and support progress regarding democracy, human rights, good governance and sustainable and inclusive development,’‘ the statement concluded.

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