UN to vote on backing ECOWAS action in The Gambia

January 19, 2017 4:23 pm
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Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has been told to stand down after 22 years in power © AFP/File / ISSOUF SANOGO

, United Nations, United States, Jan 19 – The UN Security Council will vote Thursday on a draft resolution endorsing the West African bloc ECOWAS in its efforts to ensure a transfer of power in The Gambia, diplomats said.

The Economic Community Of West African States has repeatedly called on leader Yahya Jammeh to respect the result of the December 1 election and step down after 22 years in power.

Senegal presented the measure to the council on Wednesday, requesting UN approval for ECOWAS to take “all necessary measures” to force Jammeh to cede power to President-elect Adama Barrow.

That language however was dropped from the draft resolution during negotiations late Wednesday, weakening the measure.

The latest text, seen by AFP, calls on the council to give “its full support to the ECOWAS in its commitment to ensure the respect of the will of the people.”

It requests that “Jammeh carry out a peaceful and orderly transition process, and to transfer power to President-elect Barrow by January 19.”

The draft resolution requests that “all stakeholders, within and outside The Gambia, to exercise restraint, respect the rule of law and ensure the peaceful transfer of power.”

Nigeria and Ghana were sending troops and airpower to Senegal to join a Dakar-led regional force that could stage a military intervention in The Gambia.

Barrow was set to be sworn in as Gambia’s president during a ceremony at the Gambian embassy in Dakar, his spokesman said.

The vote is expected to take place at 1:00 pm (1800 GMT).

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