Gambia’s outgoing President Yahya Jammeh has declared a three-month state of emergency only two days to the inauguration of president-elect Adama Barrow.
In a televised address on state TV on Tuesday evening, Jammeh announced that the 90 days state of emergency starts from January 17 to April 17, 2017.
“Under this state of public emergency, civil liberties are to be fully respected while all citizens and residents in The Gambia are banned from any acts of disobedience to the laws of The Gambia, incitement to violence and acts intended to disturb public order and peace,” he said.
Jammeh gave reasons for the state of emergency including “the need to prevent a constitutional crisis and power vacuum pending the determination of the petitions at the Supreme Court and the application for an injunction against swearing in Mr. Adama Barrow, until the Supreme Court decides on the 1st December 2016 Presidential Election results”.
He also ordered the security forces, who pledged allegiance to him, to maintain law and order in the country during the period.
The resolution was passed by the country’s National Assembly after a motion was tabled by Majority Leader Fabakary Jatta on Tuesday morning as indicated by the order paper made available to the media.
The National Assembly condemned “the unlawful and malicious interference in the internal affairs of The Gambia by the AU Peace and Security Council, Government of the Republic of Senegal, and Senegal’s Representative at the UNSC.”
It also approved a resolution extending its life for 90 days effective from April 11 to July 11, 2017.
These resolutions follow a press conference by President-elect Adama Barrow’s spokesperson, Halifa Sallah, who insisted that the inauguration on Thursday will take place on Gambian soil.
President Yahya Jammeh’s petitions at the Supreme Court to annul and rerun the December 1 polls, as well as halt the inauguration have not yielded any fruit as a result of the unavailability of judges who only sit in May and November.
ECOWAS has attempted resolving the issue by convincing Jammeh to step down, yet mediation efforts remain inconclusive.
Adama Barrow is currently living in Dakar since Sunday at the request of the ECOWAS chairperson Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
Senegalese President Macky Sall agreed on Saturday to host Barrow until his inauguration on Thursday when he will be escorted by some African leaders to the event.