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No Deal In Sight As ECOWAS-AU-UN Coalition Insists Jammeh Must Quit

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has said there is no deal yet for Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh to quit.

No Deal In Sight As ECOWAS-AU-UN Coalition Insists Jammeh Must Quit
President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf arrives at a hotel in Banjul on December 13, 2016, for a meeting with regional West African leaders in a bid to persuade veteran leader Jammeh to accept his election defeat and hand over power. SEYLLOU / AFP

 Johnson Sirleaf, the acting head of the Joint Economic Community of West African States, African Union and United Nations (ECOWAS-AU-UN) team, said late on Tuesday that an agreement could take longer.

The team, made up of President Muhammadu Buhari, Johnson-Sirleaf, the Chairperson of ECOWAS, President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone, outgoing President John Mahama of Ghana, and Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas, (UN Special Representative for West Africa), urged Jammeh to reconsider his rejection of the election results.

The team was insistent that Jammeh hand over power “within constitutional deadlines, and in accordance with electoral laws of The Gambia.”

Johnson-Sirleaf said discussions on The Gambian impasse would continue as ECOWAS leaders meet in Abuja this Saturday.

Meanwhile, the coalition of seven political parties that produced Adama Barrow, President-elect of The Gambia, has said that it looked earnestly to Nigeria’s President Buhari to deploy his vast experience, alongside other African leaders, to resolve the political logjam in the small West African country.

One of the members, Hamad Bah, said: “We need the experience of President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria in many ways. Like President Jammeh, he is a former military officer, so he knows how the military thinks, and would be able to talk to him appropriately.”

The high-level team, in series of meetings that lasted the whole of Tuesday, met with Jammeh twice, conferred with Barrow, consulted with security chiefs, members of the diplomatic community, leadership of the electoral commission, and many other interest groups .

In Nigeria, Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose has described President Buhari’s involvement as an aberration.

According to him, great Africans like former President Goodluck Jonathan, President John Mahama of Ghana and others who have lost elections and accepted defeat were in the best position to intervene in Gambia and not someone like Buhari.

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