Ethiopia: AU congratulates Gambia's new President Barrow

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - The African Union (AU) on Friday congratulated the new President of Gambia, Adama Barrow, on his assumption of the Presidency and called on all AU Member States as well as the larger international community to follow suit.

In a communiqué, issued after its 654th meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the AU said it recognized Barrow as the legitimate President of The Gambia and encouraged ongoing initiatives aimed at facilitating a peaceful transfer of power in the West African country.

"Council expresses the readiness of the AU to work closely with the new Gambian authorities to promote peace, security, stability and reconciliation in their country," the communiqué affirmed.

The PSC said it looked forward to the participation of President Barrow in the upcoming 28th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union, to be held from 30-31 January 2017 at the seat of the AU in Addis Ababa.

Reaffirming its full support to the decisions adopted by the 50th Ordinary Summit of the Authority of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Abuja, Nigeria, on 17 December 2016, including use of all necessary means to ensure the respect of the will of the people of The Gambia, the PSC stated that it took note of the deadline set by the ECOWAS Authority for former President Yahya Jammeh to fully comply with the will of The Gambian people.

Also, the Council expressed deep appreciation to ECOWAS "for its principled stand with regard to The Gambia, in line with the AU zero tolerance policy for unconstitutional changes of government in Africa."

The PSC said it noted with appreciation of resolution 2337(2017) adopted on 19 January 2017, by which the UN Security Council endorsed the decisions of ECOWAS and the African Union to recognize Mr. Barrow as President of the Gambia.

It called upon the countries in the region and the relevant regional organisations to cooperate with President Barrow in his efforts to realize the handover of power.

In addition, the PSC has expressed concern over the unfolding humanitarian situation in Gambia and Senegal, particularly the living conditions of internally displaced persons and refugees.

"In this respect, Council calls on Member States and the wider international community to extend the necessary assistance to the needy people," the communiqué said, commending President Macky Sall of Senegal "for his contribution to efforts aimed at ensuring the respect for the will of the people of The Gambia."
-0- PANA AR/VAO 20Jan2017

20 january 2017 13:39:35

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