The African Union will cease to recognise Yahya Jammeh as president of The Gambia should he refuse to stand down by January 19, the date he is due to hand over power to the winner of that country presidential election.
The AU’s Peace and Security Council in a statement on Friday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, also warned of “serious consequences in the event that his action causes any crisis that could lead to political disorder, humanitarian and human rights disaster, including loss of innocent lives and destruction of properties.”
The warning came on a day President Muhammadu Buhari was due in Banjul at the head of an ECOWAS delegation to persuade Jammeh to step down.
Yahya’s political party, in the latest gambit, has gone to court to halt the inauguration of Adama Barrow, on the basis that Jammeh’s challenge of the electoral result, has not been decided by the country’s Supreme Court.
The case was adjourned for months, because the court could not form a quorum.
Barrow’s party pledged on Friday that Jammeh would be honoured as a former head of state if he steps down and suggested he might not face trial for alleged crimes during his 22 years in power.