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Gambia crisis: Jammeh Seeks Mediation with Barrow

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-Agency reports

A day after the country’s Supreme Court proposed an out-of-court settlement, president of The Gambian Yahya Jammeh has appointed a mediator to liaise between him and president-elect Adama Barrow.
Mr. Fagbenle had advised Jammeh and his party to either adopt the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS’) peace initiative led by President Muhammadu Buhari or utilise Gambia’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanism to settle the political impasse.

Yesterday, Jammeh appointed a mediator to facilitate meetings between himself and Barrow.
Jammeh, who has ruled the small West African nation with an iron fist for more than two decades, declined to accept the result of the December 1 presidential poll which saw him lose power.
Barrow, a former real estate agent, who was little known before he announced his candidacy, is scheduled to take office on January 19.

The ruling party’s secretary-general will mediate between Jammeh’s supporters and the opposition to “resolve any mistrust and issues,” Jammeh said in a televised address to the nation yesterday morning.
The outgoing president refused to accept the election result because it was “full of arithmetic errors and anomalies; it also could not be credibly explained.”
He ordered the justice minister and National Assembly to draft a general amnesty bill – an executive order not to arrest or prosecute citizens for “acts or omissions’’ committed during the pre- and post-electoral period, between November 1 and January 31, 2016.

The announcement comes a day after the Supreme Court postponed hearing in a court petition filed by Jammeh to challenge the election results.
The case was adjourned to Monday since only one of a required minimum of five judges was present, the court’s registrar said.
Meanwhile, several West African heads of state postponed a meeting with Jammeh aimed at helping to resolve the political crisis from yesterday (Wednesday) to Friday.

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