‘The choice of The Gambian people must be respected to preserve peace’

gambiahasdecided

By Sanna Camara

Members of the pan-African network of online activists and bloggers for Democracy (AFRICTIVISTS) has called on outgoing President Yahya Jammeh to respect the will of the people and not to cause trouble to the Gambian nation, by transferring power to the elected president, Adama Barrow.

according to a media released this evening, Africtivists believe this is important to ensure stability and avoid the option of sending military forces by the international community for the implementation of the choice of the Gambian people.

Below is the full text of the release:

We members of the pan-African network of online activists and bloggers for Democracy (AFRICTIVISTES), closely following the post-election crisis in The Gambia. This is triggered by the unilateral decision of incumbent President Yahya Jammeh to declare the result of the presidential election held on 1 December 2016 “null and void” and call for new elections. 

Heavily armed soldiers and police deployed across the country since Jammeh changed his mind about the election results. 

Following the condemnation by the international community in this new twist, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is authorized to use all means in his power, including the military option, to enforce the results of the presidential election if the incumbent Jammeh refused to cede power to the official end of his term January 18, 2017 in the evening. So far, the president has not responded positively to calls to respect the voice of the polls. 

Although Jammeh has appointed a national general mediator to negotiate a crisis with the team of President-elect, he continues to persist he will not leave power until the Supreme Court of The Gambia has not ruled on its same appeal after the president of the Supreme Court recommended crisis negotiations since none of the judges who were to hear the appeal was presented to the court January 10, 2017. 

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Africtivists pose with honorary ambassador Youssou Ndour, during launch in Dakar (Nov. 2015)

As a network defending the freedoms, democratic values and the will of the peoples of Africa and therefore the Gambia, Africtivistes strongly condemns the decision of incumbent President Yahya Jammeh to continue to insist to stay in power. 

Despite all the obstacles created by the Jammeh regime before and during the holding of the election, including the cutoff of international telecommunications and the Internet, thus violating once again the rights of citizens to information and freedom of expression, the Gambian people voted for change, and this decision must be respected. 

We Africtivistes, our solidarity with the Gambian people of which 60% voted for regime change. 

We Africtivistes, are deeply concerned by the resurgence of repression, including arrests and the closure of radio stations. Therefore, we call the current regime in Gambia to consider these days as an opportunity to put a definitive end to abuses and violations that have marked and that earned him the #JammehFact initiative. 

We Africtivistes, wish to remind the President of the Supreme Court Emmanuel O. Fagbenle and any judge who will join the panel of five or seven members, whether foreign or Gambian, they have a responsibility to tell the right when making a decision on the appeal. 

Justice and the National Assembly will, for once, make the separation of powers a reality in Gambia and in any way manipulate the judiciary and the legislature in order to extend the mandate of Jammeh. 

We Africtivistes, call incumbent President Yahya Jammeh to respect the will of the people and not to cause trouble to the Gambian nation, transmitting power to the elected president, Adama Barrow. This is important to ensure stability and avoid the option of sending military forces by the international community for the implementation of the choice of the Gambian people. 

We Africtivistes, call each member of the security forces to serve and protect the people first, and to thwart any individualistic plan with the aim to destabilize The Gambia. 

We Africitivistes, reaffirm our commitment to support the Gambian people’s rights of access to information despite the intimidation. 

We Africtivistes, remind all players in this crisis they will be held responsible for any action taken that would go against the will of the people. 

We Africtivistes, renew our commitment to support the Gambian people in their struggle for the restoration of democracy, the rule of law and good governance in the smiling coast of Africa, a battle that lasted for decades. 

We Africtivistes, urge all actors in the crisis to exercise restraint and to promote dialogue. 

We renew our support to the Gambian people and their youth. 

Dakar, January 16, 2017

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