African leaders up pressure as Jammeh faces isolation

West African leaders announced they would return to The Gambia this week to try and persuade President Yahya Jammeh to step down, but said the use of force remains an option.

The mandate for Jammeh’s five-year term expires on January 18, after which president-elect Adama Barrow is supposed to take power.

But the strongman, in power for 22 years, has vowed to stay in office until a dispute over the election result is resolved, despite becoming increasingly isolated at home and abroad.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari will accompany Liberian counterpart Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Ghana’s former president John Dramani Mahama to The Gambia on Wednesday to try and end the crisis.

They will impress upon Jammeh “the imperative to respect the constitution”, Nigeria’s foreign minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, told reporters in Abuja on Monday.

There are worries in The Gambia over worsening security, a potential refugee crisis and a media crackdown that has taken several radio stations off air.

 

yahya-monkey

And while Onyeama said a peaceful transfer of power was preferable, force could be used. “Violence should be avoided but nothing is ruled out,” he said.

The regional leaders made a previous attempt at mediation with both sides in the electoral dispute in mid-December, a couple of weeks after the poll, but failed to make a breakthrough.

In Banjul, Jammeh sacked his Information Minister Sheriff Bojang and replaced him with a National Assembly member who was appointed this month as the ruling party’s spokesman.

Bojang had previously managed The Standard Newspaper, which was closed in 2012 after criticising Jammeh’s regime. A statement carried on Gambian public television on Monday did not give a reason for his dismissal.

A foreign ministry source on Monday confirmed that Jammeh had also fired ambassadors to 12 nations, apparently for disloyalty.

All the envoys had expressed support for Barrow in late December, and asked Jammeh to step aside and respect the result of the December 1 vote, which delivered the opposition leader a narrow victory.

“I do not know why President Yahya Jammeh terminated their services, but I can tell you that these are the ambassadors that congratulated and endorsed President-elect Adama Barrow for his election victory,” the source told AFP on condition of anonymity.

– Judge shortage? –

 

From L: President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf President of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari President...

From L: President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari, President of Senegal Macky Sall and former President of Ghana John Mahama pose in Abuja on January 9, 2017
SUNDAY AGHAEZE, AFP

Authorities also refused to release from custody the former director-general of Gambia’s state television and radio broadcaster, despite a court decision to grant him bail.

Momodou Sabally was arrested on 8 November 2016 along with a colleague after broadcasting images of the opposition when Jammeh’s wife was due to appear, according to Human Rights Watch.

On Monday the Banjul High Court ruled that he should be bailed, but the National Intelligence Agency holding Sabally refused to comply when presented with the order, judicial staff told AFP.

Meanwhile it appeared increasingly clear there would not be the requisite number of judges Tuesday sitting for Jammeh’s Supreme Court case against the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), where he is seeking to have the election result overturned.

Nigerian and Gambian legal experts told AFP that although five Nigerian judges and one from Sierra Leone had been invited to hear the case, none had responded.

The Gambia relies on foreign nationals as judges due to a shortage of nationals with the requisite training and experience.

Jammeh and his political party have now lodged three separate legal complaints with the Supreme Court alleging manipulation of ballot counting by the IEC and intimidation of supporters.

Gambian legal expert Aziz Bensouda said a quick resolution was unlikely and constitutionally Jammeh still had to step down by the end of his official term.

“In the absence of a court and the pure impossibility of the parties being served in time to appear and enter a response, it seems that an adjournment of the case will be the most likely outcome,” he said.

Jammeh’s own lawyer Edward Gomez told AFP earlier he did not know how many judges would appear on the day.

Chief Justice Emmanuel Fagbenle is the panel’s only sitting judge, as the Supreme Court has lain dormant since May 2015.

Tension and uncertainty has gripped the Gambian capital, with the US embassy sending non-essential staff and family members out of the country, as well as urging citizens not to travel there.

A statement issued Monday by the US ambassador described Tuesday’s court case as “a potential flashpoint that could lead to civil unrest.”

 

  1. Mr Khan AKA Unbiased Prince GB

    Around early November 1016.

    I Mr Khan AKA Unbiased Prince GB said;

    “Yaya Jammeh and his evil men have let power greed consumed their hearts, minds and souls whereas turning them to bitter enemies of their own selves. What is about to happen in coming weeks would socked them worse than the detriment of Gambians opposition coalition finally nominating their leadership ‘Adama Barrow’ which in itself alone is an election victory for the opposition in the country either with or without elections.

    There is no amount of marabou consultation or genies summoning or any amount of infidelity prepared on the electoral commission or on Gambian voters by Yaya Jammeh and his evil followers that could change the inevitable that is about to become of the failed APRC regime and their adulterate leadership.

    I have seen Yaya Jammeh’s dead body twice in my visiting of rare sight. It had been revealed to me that, due to Yaya Jammeh believing in violent force to help him remain in power despite the loss of many lives to happen, he would fundamentally lead himself to his own death thus from an intense bloodbath that he himself have stubbornly instigated after being defeated in an election.

    Also, the soldiers that he has been leading during that fight for power, all get killed to the last man by only a handful but seriously brave guys. Another force or fighters of Yaya Jammeh try to counter attack in vain hence not knowing that Yaya Jammeh was already muttered.

    As matters stand in that view, Yaya Jammeh have got nothing left to remain in power, but only a matter of time. If he decides to contradict Nature’s order, then he would be on the journey of walking himself to his own grave and is a fact that he knows too well.

    Please fellow Gambians, you can ask your own spiritualist if I could be misleading in this case”.

    Wasalaman

  2. Mr Khan AKA Unbiased Prince GB

    Around early November 2016.

    I Mr Khan AKA Unbiased Prince GB said;

    “Yaya Jammeh and his evil men have let power greed consumed their hearts, minds and souls whereas turning them to bitter enemies of their own selves. What is about to happen in coming weeks would socked them worse than the detriment of Gambians opposition coalition finally nominating their leadership ‘Adama Barrow’ which in itself alone is an election victory for the opposition in the country either with or without elections.

    There is no amount of marabou consultation or genies summoning or any amount of infidelity prepared on the electoral commission or on Gambian voters by Yaya Jammeh and his evil followers that could change the inevitable that is about to become of the failed APRC regime and their adulterate leadership.

    I have seen Yaya Jammeh’s dead body twice in my visiting of rare sight. It had been revealed to me that, due to Yaya Jammeh believing in violent force to help him remain in power despite the loss of many lives to happen, he would fundamentally lead himself to his own death thus from an intense bloodbath that he himself have stubbornly instigated after being defeated in an election.

    Also, the soldiers that he has been leading during that fight for power, all get killed to the last man by only a handful but seriously brave guys. Another force or fighters of Yaya Jammeh try to counter attack in vain hence not knowing that Yaya Jammeh was already muttered.

    As matters stand in that view, Yaya Jammeh have got nothing left to remain in power, but only a matter of time. If he decides to contradict Nature’s order, then he would be on the journey of walking himself to his own grave and is a fact that he knows too well.

    Please fellow Gambians, you can ask your own spiritualist if I could be misleading in this case”.

    Wasalaman

  3. Mr Khan AKA Unbiased Prince GB

    Like I said to Mr Baba Aidara my Sheriff

    “What have become of Yaya Jammeh is known to me as Humanly impossible to get him out of it.

    It’s simply bigger than what any mortal being can undo as Allah, the Almighty oversees this affair”.

  4. anonymous

    Traitors behave just like how Sheriff Bojang and Alieu K Jammeh and others do.

    Yahya expect that many of their tribesmen will abandon you, but remain steadfast and reaffirm your position “backward never forward ever. God is ever powerful and Inshallah they will all regret their acts. As the wollof saying goes “Sosseh du sosal ken” they are devillish and only want to see your downfall but they will never live to see that. Note that with their treacherous plans in their defections none will ever survive to see your downfall. It is now clear to you that with all what they were saying in niceties and praise singing they were undermining you just to see your downfall but God the all knowing and everpowerful is and will continue to.protect you from their evil machination. INSHALLAH.

    LONGLIVE YAHYA A.J.J. JAMMEH
    LONGLIVE THE GAMBIA

  5. Anonymous 1

    TRAITOR? did i just hear that from anonymous? yipeey, what happened to”donkey head” slogan? oh oh oh you now realise who the donkeyhead is! :lol: :lol: your scumbag self and rotten yaya Jammeh. FENYEH DEBERING LU :lol: :lol: :lol:

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