South Africa: Pretoria backs efforts to end Gambian impasse

Cape Town, South Africa (PANA) – South Africa has thrown its weight behind mediation efforts by the West African regional bloc ECOWAS aimed at persuading President Yahya Jammeh to step down after he lost the 1 December elections.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari is due to visit The Gambia on Friday in an effort to broker a deal. Buhari will lead an ECOWAS team to hold discussions with Jammeh in Banjul.  The ECOWAS team includes Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma and former Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama.

South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Co-operation (Dirco) said "all concerned parties are urged to co-operate with ECOWAS and find a peaceful resolution of the impasse within the provisions of the constitution of The Gambia".

President Jacob Zuma in December issued a statement congratulating President-elect Adama Barrow following his victory.

He also commended Jammeh for graciously conceding defeat “which marked the triumph of democracy in The Gambia”.

Jammeh initially conceded defeat but later reversed his decision, lodging a legal case aimed at annulling the result and triggering new elections. Barrow is scheduled to take office on January 19.
-0- PANA CU/MA 13Jan2017

13 january 2017 07:28:06

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