ECOWAS Chair delivered ‘tough message’ to President Jammeh

By Sanna Camara

Diplomatic sources in Banjul have confirmed that the brief stop-over visit by the Ghanaian president and Ecowas chair “was a frank encounter”, and a “tough message from the region politely delivered.”

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President John Dramani Mahama, chairman of ECOWAS stopped over in Banjul to hold talks with Jammeh in what the diplomat said was a solidarity visit following the December 30th coup attempt.

However, many observers were disappointed with the tone and language of the message that the diplomat has to say about his visit to the Banjul dictator, who is becoming increasingly popular at home and isolated internationally.

“Diplomacy is most effective behind closed doors and with strict economy of words on matters conveyed in confidence. Public posturing is quite different… I am very encouraged though,” the diplomat told Gambia Beat today.

President mahama was accompanied by the VP of ECOWAS, Dr Toga Gayawea Mcintosh to Banjul. “In the African tradition, if anything happens in your brother’s house, you have to come and visit, and make sure things are ok. That is why I came.”

He added that ECOWAS protocols do not support violent overthrow of governments: “We want to remind all member states of the protocols… that a change of government must be through democratic means. And as far as possible, we should try and abide by that.

“It was a frank encounter, a tough message from the region politely delivered. I cannot say much but I am very much encouraged by it,” our source added.

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