Gambia: Guinea, Mauritanian presidents in Banjul for talks with Jammeh

Banjul, Gambia (PANA) - Guinean and Mauritanian presidents have arrived in the Gambian capital, Banjul, in a last-minute effort to persuade former president Yahya Jammeh to leave the presidency peacefully.

President Alpha Conde of Guinea and President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz of Mauritania arrived around noon (GMT) as West African leaders work to give Jammeh another opportunity, the local media reported.

This is the first time President Conde is involved in the mediation, but President Abdel Aziz was in Banjul on Wednesday, just before the term of office of Jammeh ended, but he left empty-handed.

The tough-talking president of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission, Marcel Alain de Souza, had given Jammeh a Friday noon (GMT) deadline to quit peacefully or face a West African military force that was already in the country, according to media reports.

The intervention force got the approval of the UN Security Council on Thursday to “ensure, by political means first, respect of the will of the people”.

Now, however, the deadline has been pushed forward to later in the day.

Jammeh conceded he lost the 1 December election to Barrow but changed his mind one week later, citing "irregularities". His term of office expired at midnight on Wednesday.

Several efforts to get him to leave peacefully fell on deaf ears. Instead, he dug in and vowed to remain in office until the Supreme Court ruled on the matter. But there is only one justice of the Supreme Court which would not sit until about May with judges expected from West African countries.
-0- PANA MA/VAO 20Jan2017

20 january 2017 13:42:40

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