The UN has condemned President Yahya Jammeh’s seizure of the electoral commission office in The Gambia as disrespectful ahead of his talks with ECOWAS leaders in Banjul.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said Mr. Jammeh’s behavior was an “outrageous act of disrespect of the will of the Gambian people and defiance towards the international community at a time when a high-level Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) delegation was in the country to broker a peaceful transfer of power.”
The United Nations has threatened to “strongly sanction” Mr. Jammeh if he refuses to step down when his term ends on January 18.
Jammeh lost elections to opposition presidential hopeful Adama Barrow. He accepted defeat and later took a political u-turn refusing to leave and challenging the outcome of the elections in the Supreme Court.
The UN’s Envoy for Western Africa Muhammed Ibn Chambas said President Jammeh must leave and the will of The Gambian people must be respected.
The U.S. has joined the United Nations in urging Gambian security forces to vacate the electoral commission office and allowing the commission’s chief with his staff full access to do their work. They fear that the sealing of the office by forces loyal to Mr. Jammeh may tamper with critical electoral materials.
Jammeh has called for new polls to be conducted accusing the Independent Electoral Commission of rigging and fraud.