On eve of presidential elections, Annan dispatches special envoy to Gambia

17 October 2001

With presidential elections slated for tomorrow in the Gambia, Secretary-General Kofi Annan has dispatched a special envoy to reaffirm the United Nations commitment to supporting the country's ongoing democratization process, a UN spokesman said today.

A statement released late Wednesday at UN Headquarters in New York announced that James Victor Gbeho was being sent to the Gambia "to call on the Government, political leaders and candidates as well as the population as a whole to make every effort to ensure that the coming polls take place in a free, fair, transparent and peaceful manner."

The visit of the Special Envoy follows a multi-disciplinary mission sent to the Gambia last month within the framework of an integrated preventive strategy that envisages the international community working in partnership with the Gambia to help strengthen the country's capacity to maintain peace and stability, the statement said.

Mr. Gbeho is a former Foreign Minister of Ghana and a current Member of Parliament. He previously served as the Secretary-General's Special Representative in Somalia.


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