A delegation of UN and West African leaders led by Liberia’s President Allen Johnson Sirleaf are due to arrive in Banjul on Tuesday to ask President Yahya Jammeh to accept his defeat and leave power.
The mission will include UN West Africa envoy Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, Ghana’s outgoing President John Mahama and Liberian leader Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in her capacity as head of the west African ECOWAS bloc.
The Gambia’s President-elect Adama Barrow has urged President Yahya Jammeh to meet the delegation after Gambian authorities refused Ms. Johnson Sirleaf entry clearance last week.
“I urge him and advise him to meet the international community. They are partners to The Gambia and The Gambia is a signatory to those institutions, so we have to give them that respect,” Barrow said.
President Yahya Jammeh who had at first accepted his defeat and conceded made a political fumble rejecting the December 1 presidential results “in totality.”
Aides to The Gambian ruler had reached out to Nigeria’s Buhari to prevail over Jammeh to allow a peaceful transition of power and offer him a sanctuary.
President Yahya Jammeh’s term ends in January. He came to power through a military coup in 1994. He has declared The Gambia an Islamic state, withdrew the country from the Commonwealth and International Criminal Court, decisions the country’s new administration say they would reverse.