Rights body deplores U-turn by trounced Gambian leader

24Dec 2016
Edward Qorro
The Guardian
Rights body deplores U-turn by trounced Gambian leader

A CONTINENTAL body for justice and accountability has appealed for the restoration of democracy and the rule of law in The Gambia.

Yahya Jammeh

The Africa Group for Justice and Accountability (AGJA) yesterday expressed concern and disapproval for the defiance shown by outgoing President Yahya Jammeh to undermine stability in the country.

The incumbent, who was defeated and conceded in the recent general election, has of late demanded an overturn of the results.
Through its statement released here, AGJA said they welcomed all domestic, regional, and international efforts to support President-elect Adama Barrow and ensure a smooth and peaceful transition of power.

“Any subversion of the democratic will of the Gambian people by Jammeh is unacceptable and must be emphatically rejected. Jammeh’s first decision - to respect the outcome of the election - was the right one,” the statement said.

The regional body for justice and accountability maintained that it stood in solidarity with the brave citizens of The Gambia in defending democracy and rule of law adding that efforts to restore and protect The Gambia’s democracy and rule of law ought to be supported.

“We join the people of The Gambia in expressing its appreciation of the show of unity and purpose from ECOWAS. It is the AGJA’s hope that ongoing mediation to resolve this crisis through peaceful means will be successful...receiving our ongoing and unyielding commitment to peace, justice and accountability in Africa, we are ready to support these efforts.

”Presidential elections were held in The Gambia early this year. Results of the election gave President- elect Barrow a clear victory. Following the election, Jammeh announced that he would concede the presidency, which he has held for the last 22 years.

However, Jammeh subsequently declared that he would no longer respect the election results and filed a petition with the Supreme Court to challenge the vote, throwing the country into uncertainty.