Secretary general Ban ki Moon calls President Assad of SyriaIn a phone call to Syrian President Bashar el Assad today, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon called for an immediate end to violence against peaceful demonstrators as well as an end to the wave of mass arrests.

UN will promote democracy, sustainable development in Gambia

The United Nation will support The Gambia’s future government in efforts to promote democracy and sustainable development, says Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.

The UN Chief spoke to The Gambia’s President-elect Adama Barrow congratulating him on his election victory and urging his supporters to show restraint and not to resort to violence after incumbent President Yahya Jammeh refused to leave power.

The UN Security Council and the African Union have also expressed such support and have acknowledged Mr. Barrow as the President-elect after he defeated President Yahya Jammeh in elections on December 1.

Gambia under President Yahya Jammeh has seen repression and stifling of dissent. The country’s democratic space was tightened with Jammeh having a strong grip on power. A change to electoral laws became a threat to its multiparty status with human rights violations being prevalent.

The UN Security Council passed a resolution for Jammeh to step down. UN says Jammeh will be strongly sanctioned if he refuses to leave when his mandates and supports an ECOWAS resolution to use military forces to uphold the election outcome.

Jammeh ruled The Gambia for 22 years after coming to power through a coup at age 29. The longtime ruler said he will not step down unless a ruling has been made on a petition he filed with the country’s Supreme Court in which he demanded that he be declared the winner or fresh polls be held.

Jammeh had earlier accepted defeat, called the polls transparently and the election rig- and fraud-proof. But he now accuses the electoral commission of rigging the polls under pressure from the international community.

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