Following the political crisis in Gambia caused by the outgoing president’s confiscation of power, the country was calmed by the return of the newly elected president, who formed his own government.
Last December, REPAOC, the Network of West and Central African NGO National Platforms, and the 14 platforms that it represents, following the tense situation of this election, launched a campaign for the adoption of a “Memorandum of Understanding on the Limitation of Presidential Mandates in West Africa.”
On 1st December 2016, the Gambian people selected their President in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of the Gambia. The confiscation of power by the outgoing President has resulted in the unconditional violation of the Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance.
The multiple political negotiations carried out under the auspices of Her Excellency Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia, and President of the Conference of Heads of State and of the Government of ECOWAS, as well as His Excellency, Mr. Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. John Dramani Mahama, former President of the Republic of Ghana, has not been successful in resolving the post-election crisis in accordance with constitutional law.
It required the mobilization of ECOWAS by means of its military troops, African Union troops, and United Nations troops to force the former President of the Gambia to bend after His Excellency Mr. Adama Barrow took the oath and acceded to the Supreme Judiciary of the Gambia in Senegal.
REPAOC sincerely reaffirms its strong and unconditional conviction that power can no longer be confiscated by force, by arms, or by violence when the people have decided freely.
For Peace in the Gambia, REPAOC petitions an urgent appeal to His Excellency Mr. Adama Barrow to use all legal means to help the country regain their national unity and work to implement Agenda 2030 of the United Nations, as well as Agenda 2063 of the African Union. In view of the many challenges associated with poverty that African people face on a daily basis, this conflict is one too many.
REPAOC calls upon the international community and all development partners to make firm and courageous decisions to bring gravediggers like this one before the competent courts. REPAOC welcomes the leadership of His Excellency Mr. Macky Sall, President of Senegal, for his commitment throughout the entire process of managing the Gambian post-election crisis.
REPAOC urges the incumbent President of ECOWAS, Her Excellency Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, to reintroduce the Memorandum of Understanding on the Limitation of Presidential Mandates in West Africa into the regulatory acts of the commission. REPAOC will make every effort to ensure the effectiveness of this protocol in all member States.
Today, we are launching a campaign “for a Memorandum of Understanding on the Limitation of Presidential Mandates in West Africa”.
Written in Dakar on 24 January 2017 Members of REPAOC1
1 For REPAOC, the signatories are: CFRONG (Benin), SPONG (Burkina Faso), PLATONG (Cape Verde), CSCI (Ivory Coast), TANGO (The Gambia), GAPVOD (Ghana), FONGDD (Guinea Conakry), FECONG (Mali), RODADDHD (Niger), NNNGO (Nigeria), CONGAD (Senegal), FONGTO (Togo)