Adama Barrow, the president-elect of the Gambia has flown out of the country for the first time since he was declared winner of the last presidential elections held on December 1, 2016.
The move is a new twist to the political inpasse in the Gambia. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) mediators who met with president-elect Adama Barrow and outgoing Yahya Jammeh flew out with Barrow to Mali after their meeting with Jammeh on Friday evening.
Local media reports quote sources as saying that the meeting ended inconclusively. It is not known when Barrow will be back in the country.
If #Gambia's Pres.-Elect Barrow has gone to Mali, then it's a smart move. Self-preservation is paramount. We know what Jammeh is capable of.— Jeffrey Smith (@Smith_JeffreyT) January 13, 2017
In Mali, he will join other African leaders at the ongoing France Africa summit which is discussing security issues in West Africa. There is talk that a final decision on the next move to take on Jammeh’s stance in the impasse will be announced by ECOWAS in Mali.
A journalist who has been closely following Gambian developments quotes the ECOWAS president as saying the group was determined to use all necessary means including the use of force to uphold the will of the Gambian people.
Jammeh initially accepted his loss at the polls before reversing his position citing irregularities in the results. His party have filed a poll petition which the court failed to sit on for lack of judges.
Their latest court application is an injunction to be placed on the inauguration of Barrow but the court has yet to set a date to sit on that. Jammeh’s term expires on January 19 when his successor is expected to be sworn in.