The President of the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has expressed satisfaction with the peaceful outcome of the post-electoral crisis in The Gambia.
Marcel de Souza made revelation on Tuesday January 24th 2017 in Abuja, Nigeria, on the occasion of his New Year message to development partners and members of the diplomatic corps accredited to the regional organisation.
He commended the forces of the ECOWAS Mission in The Gambia (ECOMIG) involved in the operations for the restoration of democracy, peace and security along key points in Banjul, the Gambian capital, for their dexterity and professionalism.
“The operations took place without shedding of blood, without any casualty, and without any foreign intervention whatsoever. This is a clear indication that Africa can face her own challenges and find solutions to her problems” he said.
The Commission President took the opportunity to praise the efforts made by ECOWAS Heads of State and Government and friendly countries, as well as the various presidential mediation missions resulting in the successful resolution of the crisis.
Mr Souza paid special tribute to Mrs Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, President of Liberia and Chairperson of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, and in particular to Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria and ECOWAS Mediator, alongside John Dramani Mahama, Ghana’s former President and Co-mediator of the regional body.
He also welcomed the remarkable efforts made by Professor Alpha Condé and Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, Presidents of Guinea and Mauritania respectively, for successfully conducting the final mediation leading to the departure of the former Gambian President Yahya Jammeh to Equatorial Guinea leadin to a peaceful take over.
The ECOWAS boss further paid tribute to Nigeria, Senegal and Ghana’s Armed Forces for deploying troops and providing logistics at short notice, and thanked Senegal’s President, Macky Sall, for the warm welcome accorded to ECOMIG troops, as well as the facilities extended to them to enable them carry out their mission.
On demands for amnesty and claims for guarantee made by the former President of The Gambia for himself, his entourage and supporters, the ECOWAS Principal noted that the requests will be examined by ECOWAS decision-making bodies, the African Union and the United Nations.
Regarding the new Gambian President, Adama Barrow, the Commission President called on him to embrace national unity and reconciliation of all Gambians, economic recovery, consolidation of renewed peace and democracy, while avoiding settling of scores and witch-hunting.