Newly appointed National Security Advisor Susan Rice (R) speaks after US President Barack Obama (L) appointed her during an event in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, DC, June 5, 2013. Obama formally announced that Rice, currently ambassador to the UN, would take over from Tom Donilon in July, in an appointment which defies Republican claims that she misled Americans over the attack on the US mission in Benghazi. AFP PHOTO/JIM  WATSONJIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

Gambia: U.S. will hold accountable anyone that uses violence to undermine peaceful transition of power

The U.S. government said it will hold accountable any person who uses violence to undermine the peaceful transfer of power in the West African nation of The Gambia after its longtime ruler President Yahya Jammeh refuses to step down.

“…we will work with our international partners to help ensure that there is accountability for any persons who use violence to undermine the peaceful democratic transition that the people of The Gambia both demanded and deserve,” said the White House.

Gambian security forces seized the electoral commission office ahead of a meeting between President Yahya Jammeh and four West African Heads of States.

Both the UN and the U.S. asked for the forces loyal to President Jammeh to vacate. UN Chief Ban Ki Moon was strong in language reprimanding Mr. Jammeh’s actions as outrageous, disrespect and defiant.

Gambian security forces have been urged to uphold their sacred duty to protect all Gambians and reject any instruction to suppress peaceful expressions of dissent.

Members of President Yahya Jammeh’s elite presidential guard are already in U.S. black book of the U.S. after they attacked peaceful protesters who were demonstrating against Jammeh’s rule during the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington.

Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh has refused to leave power after losing to real estate developer Adama Barrow. He had earlier accepted defeat but took a political u-turn calling for fresh polls. Jammeh who had said the polls were transparent and rig- and fraud-proof is now accusing the electoral commission of incompetence and rigging.

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