16th January, 2020
Chairperson of the African Commission (AUC)
African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights
31 Bijilo Annex, Kombo North District, West Coast Region
P.O. Box 673
Banjul, The Gambia
Alliance for Patriotic Re-Orientation and Construction (APRC) Party
Demands for the ECOWAS, AU, UN, and President Yahya AJJ Jammeh Joint Declaration to be Respected and Immediately Implemented
On the 1st December 2016, was the Presidential elections and the Gambian people went to the polls to choose their leader. When the final results were announced many could not believe the toss of the coin. Incertitude that resulted from the announcement of two sets of election results brought about a brief political impasse.
The unfolding events afterwards had potentials to result in serious political and civil crisis. Given the interest of the major actors in the crisis, different scenarios were at play. The evolving political situation has attracted attention both within and outside Gambia. Hence different thoughts on how to resolve the impasse emerged, namely; the interventionists, concessionists and legalists.
The interventionists privileged the use of external intervention to forcibly remove President Jammeh from office, without granting him much of a concession. This perspective believes the threat or actual use of force or sanctions against President Jammeh is critical in ending the political deadlock.
The concessionists advocate for constructive engagement with President Jammeh with a view to convincing him to step down. This perspective does not accept military intervention as the best option. It therefore, saw persuasion as critical to peaceful resolution of the dispute.
The Legalists uphold the rule of law as central to ending the political logjam. This perspective recognizes the sovereignty of The Gambia and primacy of its laws in resolving the impasse. “If the Constitution and electoral laws allow for judicial role in resolving electoral disputes, then The Gambian constitutional courts be allowed to count in resolving the political impasse”. Section 49 of the 1997 Constitution and section 100 of the Elections Act provided that an election petition is the legal pathway to determining any election dispute in the country.
The foregoing demonstrates interesting but opposing views on the crisis; it shows the politically complicated nature of the impasse as well as the approaches that could be used to resolve it.
Although it became clear that mediation for the exit of President Jammeh by the ECOWAS mediation team led by Nigeria’s President Muhammad Buhari and his Ghanaian counterpart is one that ended the logjam.
Mediation efforts were presumably focused on creating incentives for President Jammeh to step down in exchange for immunity. Concerted efforts from the international community such as ECOWAS, AU and the UN on Jammeh swayed him to accept a negotiated exit from power with greatest prospects for peace.
As the mediation ended, the Buhari-led team produced a tangible result of a 14 points Joint Declaration regarding peaceful transition of power. A combination of concessions by ECOWAS, AU and UN convinced President Jammeh to exit power.
The APRC as a party wish to acknowledge and salute the tremendous efforts underscored by President Jammeh’s ‘goodwill and statesmanship’ (and) ‘with the greater interest of the Gambian people in mind, and in order to preserve the peace, stability and security of The Gambia and maintain its sovereignty, territorial integrity and the dignity of the Gambian people.
In the circumstances therefore, we the members of the APRC on our own accord demand the full implementation of the Joint Declaration regarding the unconditional and immediate return of H. E. Sheikh Prof. Dr. Alhajie Yahya A. J. J Jammeh former President of the Republic of the Gambia and the Supreme Leader of the APRC Party.
Please find attached the copy of the Joint Declaration signed between ECOWAS, AU, UN and President Jammeh for your attention and action.
We wait for your full understanding and cooperation.
Mr. Pa Amadou Suso
Cc: Office of the President
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