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Gambia: US asks citizens to leave amid political uncertainty

Gambia: US asks citizens to leave amid political uncertainty

Gambia

The United States (US) has asked its citizens in the Gambia to leave the tiny West African country which is currently in a state of political uncertainty.

The uncertainty is a result of the refusal of president Yahya Jammeh to handover executive power after losing the December 1 presidential elections as per the results declared by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).

The US embassy in Banjul, called a meeting of citizens on Friday January 6, at which the directive was issued.

Jammeh’s party, the Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) on December 13 filed an election petition in the Supreme Court. The first hearing of the case is scheduled for January 10, 2017; nine days to the investiture of Adama Barrow – the president-elect.

The Army have pledged allegiance to Jammeh in the midst of the impasse. The opposition coalition insist that they are going ahead with plans for Barrow’s inauguration.

Jammeh has dismissed a regional mediation effort by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) describing it as ‘biased.’

ECOWAS to discuss Gambia in Ghana

Garba Shehu, the spokesperson of the Chief Mediator in the Gambian crisis, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, disclosed that leaders of ECOWAS will discuss the political crisis.

“Shortly after the inauguration, the leaders will be meeting on the crisis in The Gambia. A major decision on the impasse is expected to be taken at that all-important meeting,” Shehu was quoted by local Nigerian media Vanguard.

Majority of ECOWAS leaders are attending the swearing in ceremony of Ghana’s new president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Saturday. The co-mediator in the Gambian crisis is outgoing president of Ghana John Dramani Mahama.

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