President Muhammadu Buhari, his Liberian and Ghanaian counterparts; Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and John Mahama, will tomorrow, Tuesday, leave for Banjul, Gambia, to put diplomatic pressure on President Yahya Jammeh to transfer power to President-elect, Adama Barrow.
The UN Security Council made the plan known while briefing newsmen after a closed-door meeting by the 15 members on the political situation in The Gambia.
Deputy Permanent Representative of Spain, Mr. Juan Manuel De Linares said that the members of the council stood by their unanimous statement on December 10 that Jammeh should commence the peaceful transfer of power to Barrow without further delay.
“A delegation by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General to ECOWAS (Mohammed Ibn Chambas) and other ECOWAS and AU leaders will lead high-level delegation to Banjul tomorrow.
“The delegation will include the President of Nigeria (Buhari), Liberia (Johnson-Sirleaf), Ghana (Mahama). These are respected presidents in West Africa and Africa,” Linares said.
He, however, said that the council did not discuss any measure that would be taken should Jammeh refuse the entreaties.
“Our priority is to support the high-level visit tomorrow and ensure the mission succeeds,” he said even as he appealed to all parties in The Gambia to reject any form of violence and ensure peaceful transition of power in the West African country.
Permanent Representative of Angola to the UN, Ambassador Ismael Martins, said also that the high-level visit was an effort of the ECOWAS leaders.
“The purpose of the visit of the ECOWAS leaders is to keep everybody in agreement to arrive at transfer of power in accordance to the rules of AU and ECOWAS.
“There is a high-level delegation of Heads of State going to visit Gambia, comprising the President of Liberia as the Head of ECOWAS and other respected heads of state in the ECOWAS sub-region,” Martins said.
In a statement on Saturday, the Security Council “strongly condemned the outgoing Gambian president’s rejection of the official election results proclaimed by the country’s Independent Electoral Commission.” [myad]