The UN Security Council has said that The Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh must respect the results of the Dec. 1 presidential election. The UN says Jammeh must carry out a peaceful and orderly transition process and transfer power to President-elect, Adama Barrow by Jan. 19, 2017, in accordance with the Gambia’s Constitution.
In a Presidential Statement S/PRST/2016/19 after a seven-minute meeting, read by Council President for December, Román Marchesi (Spain), the 15-country-member organ restated its stance on Gambia. The Security Council recalled the press statement of the Council members on Dec. 10, 2016, and took note of the communiqué of the Chairman of the AU on Dec. 10, 2016.
It also recalled the joint communiqué of the ECOWAS Commission, the AU Commission and the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel on Dec. 10, 2016 regarding the situation in the Islamic Republic of the Gambia. “The Security Council welcomes and is encouraged by the decisions on the political situation in the Gambia of the 50th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority held in Abuja on Dec. 17, 2016.’’ The council applauded the decisions of the AU Peace and Security Council, at its 644th meeting held on Dec. 12, 2016, and the AU to recognise Mr Adama Barrow as President-elect of the Gambia.
“The Security Council reiterates its request to outgoing President Jammeh and the relevant Gambian Authorities to fully respect the results of the presidential election of Dec. 1, 2016. “Jammeh should also respect the will of the Gambian people and to carry out a peaceful and orderly transition process, and to transfer power to President-elect Adama Barrow by Jan. 19, 2017 in accordance with the Gambian Constitution.
“The Security Council further welcomes the decision of ECOWAS Heads of State to attend the Jan. 19, 2017 inauguration of President-elect Barrow in Banjul,” the presidential statement read.
The council reiterated its support to the ECOWAS position on the Gambia and welcomed the appointment of President Muhammadu Buhari to lead further negotiations with both Jammeh and Barrow. “The Security Council commends the initiatives of ECOWAS, including the visit of an ECOWAS/UN high level delegation in Banjul on Dec. 13, 2016, led by Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia and Chairperson of the ECOWAS Authority, aimed at ensuring a peaceful and orderly transition process in The Gambia.
“The security council welcomes the appointment by ECOWAS of His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as the Mediator in the Gambia and His Excellency John Dramani Mahama, President of the Republic of Ghana as the Co-chair.” The security council recalled its members’ request that the security of President-elect Adama Barrow, and that of all Gambian citizens, be fully ensured, and supports the decision of ECOWAS 50th Session in this regard. The Security Council further requested that the Gambian defence and security forces to demonstrate maximum restraint to maintain an atmosphere of calm in Banjul.
“In this regard, the Security Council emphasises the important role of Mr Mohammed ibn Chambas, Special Representative of the Secretary General and Head of UNOWAS in the current political situation in The Gambia. “The Security Council further welcomes and reiterates its full support for the continued efforts of the AU and ECOWAS to promote peace, stability and good governance in the region. “The Security Council expresses its intention to continue to follow the situation in the Gambia closely.” (NAN)