Africa  

Senegal asks UN to back ECOWAS action in Gambia

(From L) Sierra Leon's President Ernest Bai Koroma, President of ECOWAS official Marcel Alain de Souza, Liberian President and Ecowas Chairperson Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari (R) and Guinean President Alpha Conde (C) pose during the 50th summit of the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Abuja, on December 17, 2016. West African leaders have called for a swift resolution of the political impasse in The Gambia after disputed elections in which long-term president Yahya Jammeh is refusing to concede defeat. The appeal came at the 50th summit of the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Nigeria, attended by 11 heads of state but without the leaders of four members including The Gambia. PHOTO: Pius Utomi EKPEI / AFP

(From L) Sierra Leon’s President Ernest Bai Koroma, President of ECOWAS official Marcel Alain de Souza, Liberian President and Ecowas Chairperson Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari (R) and Guinean President Alpha Conde (C) pose during the 50th summit of the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Abuja, on December 17, 2016. West African leaders have called for a swift resolution of the political impasse in The Gambia after disputed elections in which long-term president Yahya Jammeh is refusing to concede defeat. The appeal came at the 50th summit of the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Nigeria, attended by 11 heads of state but without the leaders of four members including The Gambia. PHOTO: Pius Utomi EKPEI / AFP

Senegal on Wednesday presented a draft resolution to the UN Security Council seeking support for ECOWAS efforts to press Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh to step down, diplomats said.

But the text does not explicitly seek council authorization to deploy troops to The Gambia to force Jammeh to cede power to president-elect Adama Barrow, diplomats said.

The Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) has repeatedly called on Jammeh to respect the result of the December 1 election and step down after 22 years in power.

Jammeh on Tuesday declared a state of emergency as Barrow, who is currently in Senegal, maintained his inauguration will go ahead as planned on Thursday on Gambian soil.

At Senegal’s request, the Security Council will discuss the crisis in the West African country on Wednesday, diplomats said.

The African Union has said it will no longer recognize Jammeh as head of state as of January 19.

UN envoy for West Africa Mohamed Ibn Chambas last week told the council that ECOWAS was prepared to ask the council to approve the deployment of troops to the Gambia.

The council last month demanded in a unanimous statement that Jammeh recognize the outcome of the election and transfer power to Barrow.

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