Ban commends West African countries’ firm decision to stand by Gambian President-elect

19 December 2016

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today commended decisions by a bloc of West African countries to take all necessary actions to enforce the outcome of the presidential election in Gambia, guarantee the protection of President-elect Adama Barrow, and attend the new leader’s inauguration ceremony on 19 January 2017.

“The Secretary-General commends the firm stance taken by the Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on 17 December with respect to the situation in Gambia,” said a statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson.

The Secretary-General remains deeply concerned about the situation in Gambia following the presidential election on 1 December, in particular that the Independent Electoral Commission continues to be under the control of military forces, the statement added.

“He urges the Gambian security forces to uphold their neutrality and demonstrate restraint under the unfolding circumstances,” the statement said.

The Secretary-General underscores the UN’s commitment to fully support ECOWAS decisions, including, if requested, assistance to the mediation effort to be led by Presidents, Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria and John Dramani Mahama of Ghana.


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Gambia: UN chief 'dismayed' at military takeover of electoral commission

Expressing dismay at the takeover of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) premises by the military in Gambia, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on the security forces to immediately vacate the Commission and to refrain from any further acts that could jeopardise efforts towards the peaceful transfer of power.