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General News of Thursday, 19 January 2017


Blame African leaders for Gambia crisis – Kwesi Aning

Security expert, Kwesi Aning has blamed the leadership of Africa for failing to sanction President of The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh for his consistent flouting of the continent’s framework for good governance.

According to him, the continent must deal with Mr Jammeh in a straightforward manner.

Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Wednesday, Mr Aning said more stringent measures should be taken since he has disregarded all the necessary diplomatic procedures extended to him.

“When former President Mahama visited Gambia, the psychological game there was that Mr Mahama sends a signal to Mr Jammeh that there was life after Presidency, but you see, it is not always that you can play a decent diplomatic game with a person who does not understand the basic laws and principles of diplomacy,” Kwesi Aning said.

“It has become necessary that the appropriate articles under ECOWAS’ protocols be invoked and if we need to fight to preserve the molecule of respect for ECOWAS,” he added.

There is a political stalemate in the West African country as the President, Yahya Jammeh has resolved not to step down ECOWAS leaders have failed on two occasions to convince Mr Jammeh to step down.

Jammeh, days after conceding defeat in the elections, raised allegations of malpractices and filed a motion to challenge the results in the Supreme Court.

The country had been without a functional Supreme Court for two years, after Mr. Jammeh sacked some Supreme Court judges for ruling against his government in a case against affecting ex-military chiefs.

The country’s Chief Justice, Emmanuel Fagbenle, pulled out of the case filed by Jammeh, seeking to stop the inauguration of President-elect Adama Barrow.

Other senior officers in Mr. Jammeh’s government including the Ministers of Trade, Environment, Finance and recently Foreign Affairs, have all resigned, spelling more doom for Mr. Jammeh.

There are reports of many citizens and tourists fleeing the country ahead of Thursday’s inauguration of President-elect Adama Barrow who is currently in Senegal until the swearing-in.

‘Military intervention in Gambia’

Parliamentarians in Gambia on Monday, January 16, 2017, passed a resolution demanding that ECOWAS Heads of State Authority desist from using force to remove Mr. Jammeh from office.

The legislators say a peaceful means must be employed to settle the political stalemate, stating that the Gambia was a sovereign nation and its constitution must be respected.

‘State of emergency’

Yahya Jammeh, on Tuesday, declared a 90-day state of emergency in the West African country. He did not give details for his declaration in the public announcement.

‘Parliamentarians extend President’s rule’

Meanwhile, the Parliament in Gambia has extended the rule of current President Yahya Jammeh by 90 days.

The House passed the resolution on Wednesday, January 18, 2017, a day before Mr Jammeh’s term in office, officially expires.

‘Adama Barrow’s swearing-in in limbo’

The inauguration of President-elect Adama Barrow is currently in limbo.

BBC Africa correspondent, Umaru Fofana told the Citi Breakfast Show currently in Gambia said Barrow’s inauguration might not happen.

“To be honest everything seems to be up in the air, nobody is sure what will happen in the next minute… By midnight tonight, his [Jammeh’s] tenure should end, but Parliament extended his mandate yesterday, the legitimacy of that is being challenged. The opposition collation assured me that they will go ahead with their inauguration tomorrow but that was before the state of emergency declaration. Due to the emergency declaration, large gatherings will not be allowed and I honestly can’t see how an inauguration ceremony will go ahead tomorrow with a state of emergency,” he opined.

‘Nigeria’s warship’

There were reports that Nigeria has dispatched a warship to Gambia following the political crisis but Fofana said “at this moment, the Nigerian military source told the BBC that they were not coming to fire any shot at least for a start.”

“If there is cooperation it will end that way but we are not sure what is happening,” he added.