Gambian President Jammeh Accuses ECOWAS Of Declaring War Against Him
President Yahya Jammeh of Gambia has accused the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), of declaring war against his country for his refusal to step down at the end of his tenure.
While accusing the World Body of putting forces on alert in case he refused to step down, Jammeh further threatened to stay in power despite losing a December 1 election to rival Adama Barrow.
He also promised to defend Gambia against any outside aggression, in a New Year speech broadcast on state TV.
Jammeh in his New Year speech on Saturday said the ECOWAS summit decision violated the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of member states.
“It is in effect a declaration of war and an insult to our constitution.”
“Let me make it very clear that we are ready to defend this country against any aggression.”
My government will never opt for such confrontation but defending our sovereignty is a sacred duty for all patriotic Gambians,” he said.
He had conceded defeat to opposition leader, Barrow, after the Presidential election.
A week later, he, however reversed his decision, stating that there were errors in the results.
“Given the unjustifiable and unprecedented anomalies… what we are simply and rightfully asking for is to return to the polls and allow the Gambians to elect who they want to be their president in free and fair elections,” he added.
Barrow’s surprise victory and Jammeh’s initial decision to concede after 22 years in power was initially seen as a moment of hope for the democratic system in Africa – a continent where autocratic leaders are becoming more entrenched.