Sunday, January 1, 2017

Yahya Jammeh of Gambia Restates His Commitment to Staying in Power in New Year Message

Gambia President, Yahya Jammeh in a new year message vows not to step down while accusing the Economic Community of West African States bloc (ECOWAS) of declaring a war against his country.

Parts of his new year message read, “I have noticed that there are appeals in some quarters for me to step down. This tantamount to disregarding this constitutional provision that should govern the resolution of the current impasse. Most, if not all reasons advanced for their appeals for me to reembrace my initial position are based on fears of a military confrontation that leads to violence and concerns for an outbreak of war in our peaceful country of ours. But a military confrontation with who? Let me make it very clear: That we are ready to defend this country against any aggression and there will be no compromise for that.”

“Let me make it clear: Most, if not all the reasons advanced for their appeals for me to reembrace my initial position are based on fears of a military confrontation that leads to violence and concerns for an outbreak of war in this peaceful country of ours. A military confrontation with who? Let me make it very clear: That we are ready to defend this country against any aggression and there will be no compromise on this,” he added.

“My government will inshala will never up for such confrontation, unless we are compelled to defend our sovereignty, independence and dignity. Defending our independence and total sovereignty is scared duty to all patriotic Gambians; more so The Gambia Armed Forces. What is clearly incontrovertible is that the decision of ECOWAS on the current situation to implement the results of the December 1st election by whatever means possible is totally illegal as it violates the principles of noninterference of internal affairs of member states, which is an entrenched clause in the ECOWAS Treaty. It is in effect a declaration of War and an insult to our constitution. It is therefore absolutely unacceptable. This blatant impartial and one dimensional approach clearly indicates that the role of ECOWAS is not predicated on the pursuit of justice in the resolution of the stalemate,” Jammeh noted.

“This partisanship of ECOWAS has also disqualified it to provide mediation services, as a genuine mediator has to be neutral and impartial to win the trust and confidence of the parties to the conflict. Thus, we will not enter into negotiations brokered by ECOWAS, if it does not recognize that the provisions of The Gambians constitution provide the basic legal principles to guild the sorting out of the details of this stalemate in order to arrive to a peaceful resolution legally binding on both parties. Without this quest for justice, within the contest of the constitution of The Gambia, and for the elimination for the threat of use of force, which is the position of ECOWAS, the impasse will continue with the risk of an escalation of a military confrontation. We have been principle. We vehemently condemn violence, but we shall never condone injustice and we will not be threatened. Our sovereignty is not for compromise,” he added.

“On the basis of deliberate policy, my government developed an atmosphere of peace and stability, in our country, and we remain strongly committed to guard the sustenance of this culture of peace; that’s the envy of many nations, and we will defend it to the last person,” Jammeh said.

“My suspicion of the IEC chairman and the falsification of the results arose. I will not tolerate anyone to cheat me. Some interest groups and individuals have champion the campaign for me to step down. The campaign dismisses the legitimacy of my change of position after my initial concession of defeat. Yet fellow Gambians, change of the better is common place in decision making processes in pursuit of good governance,” Jammeh said, as he maintains that the only way out to resolve the current political impasse is to organize fresh elections.

“Not results cooked by the IEC in favor of a particular candidate. This decision of post electoral decision is provided for by the constitution of the Gambia. In filing a petition before the supreme court, I am merely defending the oath I took in defending the constitution of the Gambia and to exercise my right for appeal as a candidate,” Jammeh said.

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