U.S. commends ECOWAS intervention over Gambia impasse

The U.S. has commended ECOWAS for its show of leadership in peacefully ousting former President of The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh.

Jammeh was removed after weeks of political stalemate.

The U.S. Department of State, in a statement by its spokesperson, Mr Mark Toner, welcomed the ongoing peaceful transition in the country and the commitment to democracy by the people.

“The United States welcomes the ongoing peaceful transition of power in The Gambia and congratulates President Adama Barrow on his inauguration.

“We applaud the commitment to democracy and the restraint shown by the Gambian people over the past weeks.

“We commend the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and other regional partners for their leadership in addressing the situation,” he said.

The U.S. also commended Jammeh for departing The Gambia peacefully and avoiding the use of violence.

“We appreciate the decision by Yahya Jammeh to depart The Gambia peacefully.

“We also echo President Barrow’s call for Gambians to unite and work together as brothers and sisters for the future of The Gambia.

“The United States is proud of our close ties to the people of The Gambia and looks forward to working closely with President Barrow and his team to achieve the aspirations of all Gambians.”

Gambian President Adama Barrow on Saturday confirmed that former president Yahya Jammeh has left the country.

Barrow on his twitter handle, @adama_barrow, said “would like to inform you that the 2nd President of the Republic of The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh has left Gambia.#Gambia.

The tweet was accompanied by a picture.

It was earlier reported that Jammeh left the State House to join President Alpha Conda of Guinea to the airport, to begin a new life in exile.

Barrow succeeded Yahya Jammeh, who lost in the Dec. 1 presidential election and refused to vacate office when his 22-year rule expired midnight on Thursday.

West African mediators spent several hours in talks with him on Friday after military forces of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) stopped actions to remove Jammeh by force to allow last-minute negotiations.

Jammeh, also on state TV announced that he would step down in the interest of the Gambian people adding that it was his duty to “preserve at every instant” their lives.

Barrow earlier said he was returning to his country once a security sweep had been completed.

He also told Gambians who had fled the country that they now had “the liberty to return home”.

(NAN)

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