Gambia Talks Fail As President Refuses To Step Down

The Gambia’s President-elect,Gambia Talks Fail As President Refuses To Step Down¬†Adama Barrow, has left the country after talks failed to persuade President Yahya Jammeh to step down.

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, alongside a delegation of West African officials, flew to Banjul to try to broker a deal, but Mr Jammeh would not relinquish power.

Mr Barrow is now heading to Mali, where he will meet West African leaders attending a summit there.

The former estate agent wants to resolve the transitional deadlock so he can be sworn in on January 19, when President Jammeh’s term ends.

Meanwhile, the African Union has said it will no longer recognise Mr Jammeh’s rule beyond that point.

While ECOWAS has voiced its commitment to seeking a peaceful solution to the impasse, it has also hinted of possible military action if Jammeh stays on beyond the end of his term next week.

Gambian Coalition Calls On Buhari To Resolve Political Logjam

Gambian Coalition Calls On Buhari To Resolve Political LogjamThe coalition of seven political parties that produced President-elect of The Gambia, Adama Barrow, earnestly looks up to Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, to deploy his vast experience, alongside other African leaders, to resolve the political logjam in the tiny West African country.

This was revealed on Wednesday, in a statement by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Femi Adesina.

Speaking with the media during the high-level ECOWAS /AU/UN Joint Mission to The Gambia on Tuesday, Hamad Bah, one of the coalition members, declared:

“We need the experience of President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria in many ways. Like President Jammeh, he is a former military officer, so he knows how the military thinks, and would be able to talk to him appropriately.

“Again, President Buhari was in the opposition in Nigeria for about 12 years, before he won election in 2015. So, he also knows how the opposition thinks. He can feel what we feel. We are quite glad that President Buhari is here, it gives us a lot of hope.”

Gambian Coalition Calls On Buhari To Resolve Political LogjamThe high-level team, in series of meetings that lasted the whole of Tuesday, met with President Yahya Jammeh, twice, conferred with Barrow, consulted with security chiefs, members of the diplomatic community, leadership of the electoral commission, and many other interest groups.

The consensus was that President Jammeh needed to respect the result of the December 1 election, which he had earlier accepted and congratulated the winner, only to recant a week later, calling for fresh polls “to be conducted by a God-fearing electoral commission”.

Gambian Coalition Calls On Buhari To Resolve Political Logjam
Liberian President, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and Sierra Leonean President, Ernest Bai Koroma

The Joint ECOWAS-AU-UN team, made of President Buhari, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia (current Chairperson of ECOWAS), President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone, outgoing President John Mahama of Ghana, and Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas, (UN Special Representative for West Africa), encouraged Jammeh to reconsider his rejection of the election results citing “tallying errors” and his call for new elections.

Jammeh was also urged to hand over power “within constitutional deadlines, and in accordance with electoral laws of The Gambia”.

President Johnson-Sirleaf said discussions on The Gambian impasse would continue, as ECOWAS leaders meet in Abuja this Saturday.