Sirleaf advises Jammeh to step down peacefully

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Ellen Johnson Sirleaf: refused entry to Gambia
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf: refused entry to Gambia

Liberian President and Chair ECOWAS, Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, has advised outgoing Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh to step down peacefully.

Jammeh lost the December 1 presidential election to opposition Barrow has annulled the result of the election.

Her office in Monrovia on Sunday said President Sirleaf has sent a special message to the former Gambian leader to accept the election result which reflects the will of the people.

‘’Our common commitment to the precepts in the Charters and Treaties of regional, continental and global institutions are binding and prescribe consequences for non-compliance’’, President Sirleaf reminded Jammeh.

Her correspondence followed Jammeh’s call for fresh elections after questioning the results of the election last Friday despite conceding defeat to the winner Adama Barrow a week earlier.

The ECOWAS Chair described the reversal of his position as unacceptable and threatens the peace not only of The Gambia but the entire West African Sub-region.

According to a statement from her office on Sunday, President Sirleaf insisted that the will of the Gambian people, freely expressed in exercise of their franchise, must be respected by all without precondition, pointing out, that this should include President Jammeh and officials of his government.

The ECOWAS Chairperson pledged her support to the joint statement issued by the African Union, ECOWAS and the United Nations, noting that it leaves no doubt that the reversal in the position of President Jammeh is totally unacceptable.

“In this twenty-first century, leaders have no room for selectivity – to accept only outcomes which give a mandate to lead and deny a result which withdraws that mandate, especially when election procedures and modalities are similarly applied” she added.

The ECOWAS Chairperson concluded with a plea to President Jammeh to do the right thing and take actions to facilitate a smooth and peaceful transition in the Gambia, respecting the election results which reflect the freely expressed will of the Gambian people.

President Sirleaf made a similar appeal to President-elect Barrow and members of the opposition to exercise restraint, underscoring that they too have a responsibility to act maturely in the interest of preserving peace and calm in their country.

She also called on the people of The Gambia to remain calm and peaceful, APA reports.

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