President Muhammadu Buhari has set up a Mediation Support Team to assist him in resolving the political impasse in Gambia.
The MST, headed by Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, will work with the team of the co-mediator, President John Dramani Mahama of Ghana.
Buhari and Mahama were mandated by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to resolve the Gambian logjam.
Their mediation was one of the outcomes of the just-concluded ECOWAS Summit held on December 17, 2016 in Abuja.
The summit also listed the terms of reference to include ensuring the safety of the President-elect, Adama Barrow, the political leaders and the entire population; upholding the result of the Presidential election held on December 1, 2016 and ensuring that the President-elect is sworn into office on January 19, 2017, in conformity with the constitution of the country.
The Onyeama MST has begun immediate consultations with leaders in the sub-region as well as with international partners, Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media said today.
The main task of the Mediation Support Team is to undertake the first phase of the preparatory and support work that would lead to a high level meeting of the mediator, President Buhari, and the stakeholders.
“Buhari remains optimistic that a peaceful resolution of the problem, in line with the laws and the constitution of The Gambia, is possible before the January 19, 2017 inauguration date of the new president”, Shehu said.