Longtime ruler of The Gambia, President Yahya Jammeh has called the political deadlock in the country a “conflict” raising fear of a deadly confrontation and further rights abuses.
“This conflict cannot be peacefully resolved when institutions concerned are making threats and disrespecting facts,” Jammeh said of ECOWAS mediators.
Jammeh, who was defeated by businessman Adama Barrow is creating a political crisis and has challenged the results of the elections in the country’s Supreme Court.
Activists say, Jammeh’s refusal to accept the verdict of the people is causing a political turmoil by sticking to his illegal declaration and refuses to step down and are accusing Jammeh of attempting to start a conflict.
“Under any situation of violence, human rights are severely damaged particularly in a situation of violence that is a politically motivated like ours. Hence the characterization of the situation as ‘conflict’ by Yaya Jammeh must be qualified that it is him indeed who is generating a conflict and must be urged to step back away from unconstitutionality and move towards what is constitutional and legal,” said civil society leader Madi Jobarteh.
President Yahya Jammeh, however, insists that the political impasse cannot be peacefully resolved without Gambians heading back to the polls in a fresh poll and the nearly 300,000 absentee voters get a chance to vote.
“Justice must be done and the only way justice can be done is to reorganize the election so that every Gambian votes. That’s the only way we can resolve the matter peacefully and fairly,” said Jammeh.
Jammeh has rejected the election’s outcome in its ‘totality” and declared it null and void. The Gambia’s winning opposition coalition says the demoralized president has no authority or power to organize or annul any public election or reconstitute the IEC as wishes.
ECOWAS Commission President Marcel de Souza announced that a regional force has been put on alert to use force to bend Mr. Jammeh to leave if mediation efforts led by Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari fails.