Mali’s President Ebrahim Boubacar Keita has called on President Yahya Jammeh to step down and avoid an unnecessary ‘bloodbath.’
President Yahya Jammeh’s refusal to hand over power to President-elect Adama Barrow has left regional leaders with fewer options than to use a standby military force to flush him out of power.
Jammeh lost to real estate developer Adama Barrow, who is backed by eight opposition groups in last month’s election. He initially accepted defeat before taking the political u-turn that sparked the crisis.
“I dare to hope that African wisdom will convince our brother [Jammeh] that the good Muslim that he claims to understand the greater good for The Gambia, which does not need a bloodbath,” President Ebrahim Boubacar Keita said.
Gambia’s political standoff dominated discussions at the Africa-France Summit. Barrow unexpectedly traveled to Bamako, Mali’s capital to take part in the summit.
The leaders of at least 30 nations had gathered in Bamako to discuss radicalism on the continent and Africa’s impact on the European refugee crisis — but the Gambian crisis ended up topping the agenda.
ECOWAS is already seeking the approval of the UN and AU to deploy troops to the Gambia. ECOWAS has made clear in the past force will not be ruled out as a last resort.
West African defense chiefs met in Abuja to discuss the crisis, Nigeria’s chief of defense staff said, “as part of efforts to mitigate the political impasse,” notably including neighboring Senegal.