The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 654th meeting held on 20 January 2017, adopted the following decision on the post-election situation in The Islamic Republic of The Gambia:
1. Takes note of the briefing made by the Chairperson of the Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, as well as the presentation made by the Commissioner for Political Affairs, Dr. Aisha Laraba Abdullahi, on the latest developments in the post-election situation in The Gambia, following the presidential election held in that country, on 1 December 2016. Council also takes note of the statements made by the representatives of The Gambia, as well as of Liberia, in its capacity as Chair of the Authority of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Egypt, Ethiopia and Senegal, as African Members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) , Sweden, President of the UNSC for the month of January 2017, and the UN Secretariat;
2. Recalls the relevant provisions of the AU Constitutive Act, the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, as well as of the Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council;
3. Reaffirms its previous pronouncements on the post-election situation in The Gambia, in particular the communiqué PSC/PR/COMM. (DCXLVII) of its 647th meeting held on 13 January 2017, in which Council solemnly declared the inviolable nature of the outcome of the presidential election held on 1 December 2016, in The Gambia, strongly reaffirmed the AU’s zero tolerance policy with regard to coups d’Etat and unconstitutional changes of government in Africa, and further declared that, as of 19 January 2017, outgoing President Yahya Jammeh will cease to be recognized, by the AU, as the legitimate President of the Republic of The Gambia;
4. Endorses the Press Release issued by the Chairperson of the Commission, on 19 January 2017, welcoming the swearingin ceremony that took place on 19 January 2017, and congratulating the new President of The Gambia, His Excellency Adama Barrow. In this respect, Council congratulates His Excellency Adama Barrow for his assumption of the Presidency, and calls on all AU Member States, as well as the larger international community, to recognize Adama Barrow as the legitimate President of The Gambia. Council expresses the readiness of the AU to work closely with the new Gambian authorities to promote peace, security, stability and reconciliation in their country;
5. Looks forward to the participation of President Adama Barrow in the upcoming 28th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union, to be held from 30 to 31st January 2017, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia;
6. Reaffirms its full support to the decisions adopted by the 50th Ordinary Summit of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government held in Abuja, on 17 December 2016, including the consideration to use all necessary means to ensure the respect of the will of the people of The Gambia, as expressed on 1st December 2016;
7. Takes note of the deadline set by the ECOWAS Authority for former President Yahya Jammeh to fully comply with the will of The Gambian people, as well as with the ECOWAS and AU decisions;
8. Expresses its deep appreciation to ECOWAS for its principled stand with regard to The Gambia, in line with the AU zero tolerance policy for unconstitutional changes of government in Africa. Council reiterates its tribute to the leadership and commitment demonstrated by Her Excellency President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia, Chairperson of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, as well as to His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, ECOWAS Mediator, His Excellency President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone, and to former President John Dramani Mahama of Ghana, co-Mediator, for their continued efforts aimed at ensuring a peaceful and smooth transfer of power in The Gambia. Council commends President Macky Sall of Senegal for his contribution to efforts aimed at ensuring the respect for the will of the people of The Gambia. Council also takes note with appreciation of the initiatives taken by President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz of Mauritania and Alpha Condé of Guinea, for the peaceful resolution of the post-election crisis in The Gambia. In this respect, Council encourages ongoing initiatives aimed at facilitating a peaceful transfer of power in The Gambia;
9. Takes note with appreciation of the resolution 2337(2017) adopted on 19 January 2017, by which the UN Security Council endorsed the decisions of ECOWAS and the African Union to recognize Mr. Adama Barrow as President of the Gambia and called upon the countries in the region and the relevant regional organisations to cooperate with President Barrow in his efforts to realize the handover of power;
10. Notes with concern the unfolding humanitarian situation in The Gambia and Senegal, particularly the living conditions of internally displaced persons and refugees. In this respect, Council calls on Member States and the wider international community to extend the necessary assistance to the needy people;
11. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.
Posted by Abraham Kebede
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