Friday, January 20, 2017

President Jammeh Gives Conditions To Hand Over Power

The leaders of Guinea and Mauritania arrived Gambia's capital Friday in a last-ditch diplomatic effort to get defeated President Yahya Jammeh to cede power, while a regional military force was awaiting orders to act.

The head of the regional force has said the troops will force Jammeh out if he doesn't step aside.
The West African force, including tanks, moved into Gambia Thursday evening and has met no resistance, said Marcel Alain de Souza, chairman of the West African regional bloc, ECOWAS.
Mauritania has been mentioned as a possible country where Jammeh could go into exile. Conde will offer Jammeh the chance to step down peacefully, said de Souza.

Jammeh "has the choice of going with President Alpha Conde," said de Souza. If that fails, "we will bring him by force or by will. Our troops will advance on Banjul. Until the last minute, we still think there is a solution resulting from a dialogue."

Jammeh started negotiations with ECOWAS on Thursday and agreed to step down but demanded an amnesty for any crimes that he may have committed during his 22 years in power and that he be permitted to stay in Gambia, at his home village of Kanilai, said de Souza.

But de Souza stated that those demands are not acceptable to ECOWAS.

Jammeh's continued presence in Gambia would "create disturbances to public order and terrorist movements," said de Souza. 
ECOWAS wants Barrow to take power in Gambia without any security threats from Jammeh.

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