Gambia: Snatching victory out of the jaws of defeat

Gambia: Snatching victory out of the jaws of defeat

President Yahya Jammeh will not cede power and has deployed numerous tactics, which were all nailed in the coffin, to cling to power in the Gambia.

Jammeh is holding the entire nation at ransom and threatening to descend the country into a violent conflict.

Jammeh originally acknowledged his defeat, graciously calling President-elect Adama Barrow and congratulating him. A week later, Jammeh called for the election results to be nullified and filed a petition challenging the outcome of the polls at the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court said it could not hear Jammeh’s election petition because it does not have enough judges to proceed. Jammeh had fire all Justices of the Supreme Court, except for the Chief Justice, Nigerian-born Emmanuel Fagbenle.

Fagbenle also excused himself from making a ruling on an injunction filed by Jammeh’s lawyer Edu Gomez to prohibit the judiciary and civil service from taking part in Barrow’s inauguration and restricting the president-elect from being sworn-in.

Since Jammeh’s legal attempts to steal defeat failed, he used the APRC majority National Assembly to extend his rule and declare a state of emergency for 90 days.

The state of gives Jammeh and his loyalists the power to arrest without warrants, close borders, suspend constitutional procedures, impose a curfew and suspend rights and freedom to regain control.

It was Jammeh’s last attempt to steal the victory from Adama Barrow, the opposition coalition, and the Gambian people.

West African nations after tense mediation failed to convince Jammeh to hand over peacefully and are now forced to deploy a regional military force.

Forces loyal to the longtime dictator arrested soldiers who they believe switched allegiance to President-elect Barrow but Jammeh’s use of military force against Gambians to intimidate them is cannot match that of regional forces who are now going into the country to oust him.

Jammeh’s has been rumored to hire mercenaries who fought for Charles Taylor and Laurent Gbagbo. But they have been defeated by regional forces multiple times and would not survive this one as well.

Jammeh rejected asylum offers from Nigeria and Morocco and a last minute attempt by Mauritania’s President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz for Jammeh to leave Banjul went unsuccessful.

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