Addis Ababa, 10 December 2016: The Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, continues to follow closely the situation in the Republic of The Gambia, in the aftermath of the presidential elections held on 1 December 2016.
The Chairperson of the Commission, recalls the press statement of the 642Nd meeting of the Peace and Security Council, held on 6 December 2016, which congratulated President Yahya Jammeh for the peaceful conduct and excellent conditions for the holding of the presidential election, as well as for his well-appreciated acceptance of the outcome of the election, by recognizing the victory of the candidate Adama Barrow.
The Chairperson of the Commission reaffirms the imperative need for the concerned Gambian stakeholders to strictly comply with the rule of law and the respect of the will of their people as clearly expressed during the 1 December presidential elections that have been labelled free, fair and transparent. In this respect, she recalls the relevant provisions of Article 23 (4) of the AU Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance.
The Chairperson of the Commission underlines that the statement made on 9 December 2016 by outgoing President Yahya Jammeh, who had already publicly and gracefully recognized that the victory of President-elect Adama Barrow is the true expression of the will of the Gambian people, is null and void.
The Chairperson of the Commission strongly urges President Yahya Jammeh to facilitate a peaceful and orderly transition and transfer of power to the new President of The Gambia, as decided by the people of the country. In the current context, she calls on the Gambian defense and security forces to remain strictly neutral.
The Chairperson reiterates the AU’s readiness to work closely, as usual, with regional and international stakeholders, in particular the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the United Nations, in assisting the Gambian stakeholders to find the best way towards a speedy and peaceful transition and transfer of power.
The Chairperson of the Commission, recalling the relevant AU instruments, notably the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, will seize urgently the Peace and Security Council (PSC) on this matter, in order to enable the organ to take the appropriate decisions with regards to the situation in The Gambia.