Defeated opp. leader urges dialog to end crisis

 07 Jan 2017 - 12:30

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BANJUL, Gambia: Mamma Kandeh, a defeated Gambian opposition leader who went to polls with President elect Adama Barrow and President Yahya Jammeh has called for a peaceful solution to the ongoing post-election crisis in the small West African nation.

Gambia’s strongman Yahya Jammeh has lost in the country’s Dec. 1 polls and accepted the results but rejected it a week later, claiming “unacceptable irregularities”.

“We want to emphasize that the problems we are facing today can be resolved peacefully. We are not encouraging violence or military intervention within or outside this country. I believe we are not yet in a situation where our problems cannot be resolved at the table,” Kandeh told a press conference on Friday.

“The position of the Gambia Democratic Congress is that: let the two groups open a line of communication… Let us sit down and talk and solve our problem together.”

Since President Jammeh announced he was annulling the election results, the leaders of the regional economic bloc ECOWAS has vowed to uphold the country’s Dec. 1 results by “all means necessary”.

And Gambia’s controversial president Jammeh who has ruled his country with an iron fist since 1994 has condemned the position of ECOWAS as “interference” into the domestic affairs of Gambia.

Jammeh’s term expires on Jan. 19 and regional leaders have also vowed to attend Adama Barrow’s inauguration.