December 1st 2016, Gambia has organized presidential election that resulted in major changes ina country with the must repressiverules in terms of human rights protection in West Africa
Despitedecades of attacks against journalists, members of the opposition and human rights defenders, gambians went out in large number for a peaceful election campaign before going to vote.
For the first time in the modern history of Gambia, a large number of citizens spoke with out fear against the regime in place for 22 years. What is a remarkable reversal of the situation few months previuosly
The nextdayDecember 2nd, the Independent Electoral Commission announcedAdama Barrow, the leader of the opposition won the election and, to the general surprise, the sameevening, the outgoing President Yahya Jammeh conceded his defeat and congratulated his opponent.
A weeklater, Yahya Jammeh rejected the election results and announced it wilhold in a new. In the same time, he said the rewillbe no tolerance on the protests and represals are planned against thos ewho willd are to organise.
All this has ledto a rapidwaves of international condamnation, with strong statements of the Secutity Council of the United Nations, the Economic Community of West Africa(ECOWAS), the African Union( AU), the United States, the European Union (EU) and othersasking Yahya Jammeh to accept the results and respects the right of a peacefulprotest.
Monday, december 12, the heads of States of Liberia, Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone went to Gambia to persue Yahya Jammeh, but havenot reached an agreement.
At the moment where stands this Saturday, 17 December 2016 A Summit of Heads of States of ECOWAS on the Gambia, humanrightsorganizations an civil society associations gathered in the senegalease capital Dakar, declarethat :
- President Yahya Jammeh rejected the election results and the fact that hestated that he would tolerate no demonstration, can cause instability and could lead to a crackdown.
- In this regard, we call on the outgoing President to respect the choice of the sovereign people of Gambia.
- We strongly urge him to lead a peaceful and orderly transition process.
- Call the outgoing President to respect the injunctions of the joint statement of the ECOWAS and the AU on the situation in Gambia and the ECOWAS Protocol on Democraty and good Governance and the African Charter on Democraty, Elections and Governance, including the rejection of unconstitutional changes of Government ; and remind the relevant provisions of article 23(4) of the Charter of the AUon Democraty andGovernance.
- Invite the gambiandefenses and security forces to remainneutral and to work for the safety of the electedPresident and that of all gambians citizens.
- Call initially without conditions at the end of histerm on January 27, 2017, in accordance with the Republic of Gambia Constitution Yahya Jammeh.