The Economic Community of West African States has called on outgoing Gambian President Yahya Jammeh to accept the December 1 election results and not take any action that will compromise the transition process.
The call is among the measures taken by the West African regional bloc chaired by Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to bring to an end the political tension in The Gambia created by Jammeh’s refusal to step down while calling for a new election.
The Heads of State and Government also agreed at its Summit in Abuja on Saturday that the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari will serve as the mediator in The Gambia and assisted by outgoing Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama conducted on the terms of ECOWAS.
“We request the endorsement of the AU and the UN on all decisions taken on the matter of The Gambia and also request their support for the mediation efforts including the provision of technical assistance where required,” the bloc said in their statement.
It also agreed that all Heads of State will attend the inauguration of President-elect Adama Barrow on January 19, 2017 in conformity with the Gambian constitution.
“The Authority encourages all stakeholders within and outside The Gambia to exercise restraint, respect the rule of law and ensure the peaceful transfer of power. It calls on the Gambian defence and security forces to perform their role in a nationalistic manner and protect lives and property,” it added.
Yahya Jammeh lost the December 1 elections to an opposition coalition leader Adama Barrow. Days after his concession, he annulled the results and called for another election after he accused the electoral commission of election irregularities.
After several condemnation by international bodies and countries, Jammeh’s Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) party decided to challenge the result at the Supreme Court.