The African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) have issued statements lauding the firm stance taken by the West African regional bloc, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
ECOWAS through its current chair, Liberia President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, were in Gambia last week as part of efforts to mediate in the political impasse in the tiny West African country. The team met outgoing president Yahya Jammeh and the incoming Adama Barrow, but failed to reach a deal with Jammeh.
UN commends the firm stance taken by the ECOWAS – Ki-moon
In a statement, the UN chief, Ban Ki-moon, said even though they remained concerned about ongoings in the Gambia, he commends the firm stance taken by the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government on 17 December during a Summit held in Abuja, Nigeria.
In conclusion Your Excellency, we once again implore you to consider our plea which is ailed at achieving the greater good for our beloved country, the Gambia.
ECOWAS resolved among others to take all necessary actions to enforce the outcome of the presidential election, guarantee the protection of President-elect Adama Barrow, and attend Barrow’s inauguration on 19 January 2017.
Ban Ki-moon also reiterated the UN’s concern relative to the military seizure of the offices of the Independent Electoral Commission. ‘‘He urges the Gambian security forces to uphold their neutrality and demonstrate restraint under the unfolding circumstances,’‘ the statement added.
AU congratulates ECOWAS for principled stand in Gambia – Idris Deby
A statement released by the AU on Monday also congratulated ECOWAS and reaffirmed support in possible ways to solve the political impasse in Gambia.
‘‘The Chairperson of the Union (Idris Deby Itno), congratulates the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for its principled stand with regards to the situation in The Gambia.
‘‘He expresses the AU’s full support to the decisions adopted by the 50th Ordinary Summit of the ECOWAS Authority held in Abuja, on 17 December 2016, including the consideration to use all necessary means to ensure the respect of the will of the people of The Gambia,’‘ the statement added.
11 ambassadors ‘beg’ Jammeh to go peacefully
Meanwhile, some 11 ambassadors have joined the recalled US colleague calling for President Jammeh to respect the outcome of the December 1 presidential polls and to duly handover power peacefully to Adama Barrow the president-elect come January 17.
Among them were the ambassadors to Beijing, Ankara, London, New York and Moscow. The remaining were ambassadors to Madrid, Addis Ababa, Dakar, Bissau, Havana and Brussels.
‘‘In conclusion Your Excellency, we once again implore you to consider our plea which is ailed at achieving the greater good for our beloved country, the Gambia,’‘ they said in a joint letter to Jammeh.