Bamako - Leaders meeting at a Franco-African summit in the
Malian capital Bamako on Saturday set Jan. 19 as a deadline to solve the
Gambian political crisis, Radio France Internationale quoted Togolese President
Faure Gnassingbe as saying.
January 19 is the date when president-elect Adama Barrow has
vowed to take power, despite outgoing President Yahya Jammeh not accepting his
defeat in the December 1 election.
Barrow attended the summit bringing together French
President Francois Hollande and more than 30 African leaders, while Jammeh was
“The choice of Gambian voters in favour of Adama Barrow must
be respected,” Hollande said.
Barrow arrived in Bamako with Nigerian President Muhammadu
Buhari, who had met both him and Jammeh in the Gambian capital Banjul on
A statement from Barrow’s office said Jammeh’s meeting with
Buhari and other mediators from the Economic Community of West African States
(ECOWAS) was “unproductive.”
Barrow’s spokesman Halifa Sallah said ECOWAS would
nevertheless continue its mediation efforts.
Gambia has been in a political deadlock since Barrow, a real
estate mogul who was little known before he announced his candidacy, defeated
Jammeh in the election.
Also read: PHOTOS: Buhari, Sirleaf meet Gambia President Jammeh again
Jammeh, who has ruled the small West African nation for 22
years with an iron fist, has filed a petition to challenge the election result
at the Supreme Court.
The talks with ECOWAS came several hours after Gambia’s
ruling party filed a motion with the Supreme Court to prevent Barrow from being
sworn into office on January 19.
The African Union said Friday it will cease to recognize
Jammeh as president after that date.
ECOWAS earlier pledged to send troops to ensure a peaceful
transition of power in Gambia if Jammeh persists in his refusal to step down.
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