ECOWAS Leaders Arrive in Banjul For Talks On Gambia Political Crisis

ecBANJUL, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) — Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said only God knows what will happen if Friday’s talks with President Yahya Jammeh for him to step down fails.

All three of the subregional body, Ecowas mediators — Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and John Mahama of Ghana, have arrived before noon in Gambia, for what is considered to be a make or break meeting with Jammeh.

They’re currently in Banjul to meet Jammeh at State House, before returning to their hotel in Banjul, where they will hold a meeting with Gambian President-elect Adama Barrow.

Having been in power for more than twenty-two years, President Jammeh lost the presidential election in December to businessman Adama Barrow. He conceded defeat the following day, but made a U-turn about a week later.

Jammeh has filed an election petition before the Supreme Court, but that process is at a standstill. The chief justice last week Tuesday said he did not have enough judges to preside over the petition.

The Ecowas leaders who have just arrived came here last month for media talks following Jammeh’s U-turn, but failed to convince him to step down.

However, the Nigerian Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama, who was appointed by Buhari to lead the mediation efforts, told journalists on Friday in Banjul that he’s optimistic the talks will not fail this time around.

“The purpose of the visit is to meet Jammeh so that everybody can agree on a roadmap, going forward,” he said.

“We’re pretty optimistic that the talks will not fail this time because it is on the basis of this talk that everybody can now begin to see which option they could take,” he added.

Ecowas had earlier said that they will use military to force Jammeh out if diplomacy fails and this is being seen by many as one last diplomatic effort.

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About Cholo Brooks 13180 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.