Gambia: Jammeh makes off to facilitate power transfer to President Barrow

Banjul, Gambia (PANA) - Africa's mediators on the political impasse that had gripped Gambia, including the United Nations, have commended the "goodwill and statesmanship" of former President Yahya Jammeh who has temporarily left the country to facilitate an immediate peaceful and orderly transfer of power to President Adama Barrow.

According to a joint Declaration by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) on the Political Situation of the Islamic Republic of The Gambia issued here late Saturday, "Jammeh is at liberty to return to The Gambia at any time of his choosing in accordance with international human rights law and his rights as a citizen of the Gambia and a former head of state."

"ECOWAS, the AU and the UN commit to work with the Government of The Gambia to ensure that it assures and ensures the dignity, respect, security and rights of former President Jammeh, as a citizen, a party leader and a former Head of State as provided for and guaranteed by the 1997 Gambian Constitution and other Laws of The Gambia," read part of the declaration.

It further underlined their commitment to work with the Government of The Gambia to ensure that it fully guarantees, assures and ensures the dignity, security, safety and rights of former President Jammeh’s immediate family, cabinet members, government officials, security officials and party supporters and loyalists.

In order to avoid any recriminations, ECOWAS, the AU and the UN have also committed to work with the Government on national reconciliation to cement social, cultural and national cohesion.

Under the same declaration, Gambia's next government  must work with the ECOWAS, the AU and the UN to ensure that no legislative measures are taken that would be inconsistent with the previous these commitments.

In line with the declaration, which was made with the purpose of reaching a peaceful resolution to the political situation in Gambia, ECOWAS, the AU and the UN have urged the Government  to take all necessary measures to assure and ensure that there is no intimidation, harassment and/or witch-hunting of former regime members and supporters, in conformity with the Constitution and other laws of the country.

Jammeh left Gambia late Saturday and a crowd of his supporters gathered at Banjul International Airport to bid him and his wife farewell as they boarded the plane of Guinean President Alpha Conde heading to Conakry.

Jammeh was given a ceremonial honour by the Gambian armed forces. On the stairs of the plane, he turned to the crowd, kissed his Qur’an and waved bye to supporters.

An official source told PANA that Jammeh and his family would later proceed to exile in Equatorial Guinea.
-0- PANA MSS/AR 22Jan2017

22 january 2017 08:28:24

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