The Economic Community of West African States has resorted to solving the crisis in Gambia using peaceful mediation as against the earlier suggested military intervention.
The chairperson of the West African regional bloc, Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, told the media in Ghana’s capital, Accra on Saturday that ECOWAS is pursuing mediation for now and there will be no troop deployment to The Gambia.
“We are committed to a peaceful mediation and a peaceful transfer of power in The Gambia. We will continue to pursue that for now,” Sirleaf said after a meeting with regional leaders held after the inauguration of Ghana’s new president.
She also stated that the regional body is monitoring events as The Gambia’s Supreme Court hears the case on January 10 filed by Jammeh’s party to cancel the election result and hold fresh elections.
We are committed to a peaceful mediation and a peaceful transfer of power in The Gambia. We will continue to pursue that for now.
Last year, the president of the ECOWAS Commission Marcel de Souza warned that a military intervention could be used if mediation efforts which spearheaded by Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari and Ghana’s former President John Dramani Mahama, fail to persuade Jammeh to give up power.
Jammeh on the other hand described ECOWAS’ position as declaring war and also an insult to the Gambian constitution which has clear guidelines on how to solve its internal crisis.
Senegal has said that military intervention should be the last resort in the crisis hoping Jammeh will see reason and handover executive power peacefully.
ECOWAS is expected to hold a meeting on Monday in Abuja to take a final decision.