UN chief reiterates call for peaceful power transfer in Gambia

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday reiterated his call on outgoing Gambian President Yayha Jammeh to transfer power to the president-elect in a peaceful and orderly manner, a UN spokesman told reporters.

The appeal came as the secretary-general met with the outgoing Gambian permanent representative to the United Nations, Mamadou Tangara, to discuss the deteriorating political situation in the West African country, Farhan Haq, the deputy UN spokesman, said at a daily news briefing.

The secretary-general commended Ambassador Tangara for his appeal to President Yahya Jammeh, along with 10 other Gambian diplomats serving overseas, to facilitate a peaceful transfer of power to the president-elect, Adama Barrow, Haq said.

Ban “expressed deep concern about President Jammeh’s refusal to hand over power, in accordance with the Gambian constitution, despite consistent calls from regional bodies and the international community,” Haq said.

“The secretary-general reiterated the commitment of the United Nations to support efforts for a peaceful, timely and orderly transfer of power, in full respect of the will of the Gambian people, working closely with all regional and international partners,” Haq added.

Earlier this month, the UN Security Council “strongly condemned” the outgoing Gambian president for rejecting official election results, and called on him to “respect the choice of the sovereign people” of the West African country.

On Dec. 9, Jammeh rejected the results of the Dec. 1 election and called for his country to vote again — a week after initially accepting his defeat.

President and his party are now challenging the results at the country’s Supreme Court.

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