Ethiopia: AU Chair supports ECOWAS decision on transfer of power in Gambia

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - African Union (AU) Chairman, President Idriss Deby Itno of Chad on Monday reaffirmed "the imperative need for an orderly and peaceful transfer of power to the President-elect of the Gambia, in line with the relevant provisions of the AU Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance."

In this regard, the Chairman also congratulated the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for its principled stand with regard to the situation in The Gambia, said a statement issued by the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Noting that President Deby Itno "continues to follow with close attention the developments in the post-electoral situation in The Gambia," the statement said that he also recalled the pronouncement made by the Peace and Security Council on 6 and 12 December 2016 on the West African country.

He has once again called upon outgoing President Yahya Jammeh to facilitate the smooth transfer of power to the newly elected President of The Gambia, Adama Barrow, as decided by the people of the country.

"He renews his call to The Gambian defence and security forces to strictly abide by the Constitution and rule of law," the statement underlined.

The AU Chairman has in addition expressed the AU’s full support to the decisions adopted by the 50th Ordinary Summit of the ECOWAS Authority held on 17 December 2016 in Abuja, Nigeria, "including the consideration to use all necessary means to ensure the respect of the will of the people of The Gambia."

He also commended the leadership and commitment demonstrated by Liberia President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, as Chairperson of the ECOWAS Authority, aimed at ensuring a peaceful and orderly transfer of power in The Gambia.

"The Chairman of the AU reaffirms the readiness of the AU to pursue and intensify coordination efforts with ECOWAS and the UN, in order to facilitate the speedy and orderly transfer of power to the President-elect, including its full support to [Nigerian] President Muhammadu Buhari, in his capacity as ECOWAS Mediator in The Gambia," the statement concluded.
-0- PANA AR 19Dec2016

19 december 2016 19:11:59

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