Members of Gambia's Army forces are seen in a statdium in Banjul, Gambia December 5, 2016. Picture taken December 5, 2016. REUTERS/ Thierry Gouegnon

U.S. calls on Gambian army to uphold the will of the people

The U.S. government is urging The Gambia’s military to uphold the will of the people, a day after defeated President Yahya Jammeh rejected the outcomes of the West African nation’s December 1 polls.

Gambians say, Jammeh, who accepted defeat last week, is trying to plunge the country into a violent conflict. Military, religious and political leaders have been called upon to reject such violence and come together to ensure a peaceful transfer of power to President-elect Adama Barrow.

“We call upon all institutions in The Gambia, including the elected leadership, the armed forces, religious leaders, political parties and civil society organizations to reject violence and peacefully uphold the will of the people that was expressed clearly through the ballot box. The people have spoken and it is time for Gambians to come together to ensure a peaceful transition to President-elect Barrow,” the U.S. government said.

EU and Senegal have warned of severe consequences if Jammeh attempts to clinch on to power. Senegal has called for a UN Security Council meeting on The Gambia’s tense political environment. It has warned against the harming of its citizens and interests in The Gambia.

The African Union said Jammeh’s rejection of the poll results is “null and void” marking his government as illegitimate.

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