By: Christian Conteh
Gambia’s President Adama Barrow has said that taking over power in any country must be done only through a free, fair and transparent election.
Barrow made this statement in direct response to the recent spate of coups in the subregion. The occasion was the opening of the 2022 Legal Year in Banjul, Gambia’s capital.
He further noted that within the last two years, the ECOWAS sub-region experienced several conflicts and military take-overs. These developments in Mali, Guinea and, recently, Burkina Faso he says undermine the democratisation process and achievements made in the sub-region.
These actions Barrow emphasised are against the letter and spirit of the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance and should be controlled.
“It needs to be emphasised that taking over power in any country must be done only through free, fair and transparent elections, which the citizens of The Gambia laudably demonstrated in the December 4th Presidential Election,” President Barrow said proudly.
Meanwhile, he informed his audience that at the global level, The Gambia continues to pursue the court case against Myanmar for violating the rights of its Rohingya Muslim minority.
“To seek justice for the Rohingya, we filed the case on 11th November 2019 at the International Court of Justice with the support of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. My government is committed to fighting the case to its logical end to restore the rights of the Rohingya, who continue to suffer from genocidal crimes,” he said.
The small west African nation of The Gambia had filed a lawsuit at the UN’s top court formally accusing Myanmar of genocide against Rohingya Muslims.
It was filed at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which normally rules on disputes between states.
The Gambia like Myanmar is a signatory to the 1948 Genocide Convention, committing both countries among others to preventing and punishing the crime of genocide. But the fact that Myanmar has not signed up to the ICC complicates the legal case.