Gambian leaders must ensure peaceful transfer of power to President-elect, says Security Council
NEW YORK, United States of America, December 22, 2016/APO/ –Welcoming the African Union’s decision to recognize Adama Barrow as President-Elect of Gambia, the United Nations Security Council reiterated its call on outgoing President Yayha Jammeh to transfer power to the President-Elect in peaceful and orderly manner.
“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 1 December 2016, to 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 19 January 2017 in accordance with the Gambian constitution,” said a Presidential Statement read out at a formal meeting of the 15-member body today.
“[The Council] further welcomes the decision of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Heads of State to attend the 19 January inauguration of President-elect Barrow in Banjul (Gambia’s capital),” it added.
In the statement, the Council also underlined the need to ensure the security of President-elect Barrow and that of all Gambians, and called on the country’s defence and security forces to demonstrate maximum restraint and maintain an atmosphere of calm in Banjul.
Further, commending ECOWAS efforts aimed at diffusing the situation in the west African country, the Council welcomed the appointment of Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria as the Mediator in Gambia and that of John Dramani Mahama, President of Ghana as Co-chair.
Last week, an ECOWAS/UN high level delegation, led by the President of the Liberia and Chairperson of the ECOWAS Authority, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, visited Banjul and undertook discussions aimed at ensuring a peaceful and orderly transition.
Senior UN officials, including Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein have spoken out on the situation in Gambia, urging outgoing President Jammeh to respect the outcome of the results and to transfer power to the incoming President.