Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday called for a speedy bloodless resolution of the crisis in The Gambia where reluctant former leader Yahya Jammeh has been given a last chance to step down peacefully.
While congratulating Adama Barrow who was sworn in on Thursday in Senegal as the new Gambian president on his election, Kenyatta said his country was in solidarity with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), a regional bloc which is seeking a peaceful transfer of power in The Gambia.
“Kenya expresses solidarity with ECOWAS and calls for a speedy and bloodless end to the crisis in The Gambia,” he said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
“We congratulate the New President Adama Barrow and wish him well as he takes over the reigns of power in a sisterly country,” he added.
Kenyatta said Kenya was grateful to the international community for support to ECOWAS, saying Nairobi stands ready to offer any assistance required.
“It is a historic milestone in our collective history and reaffirms the commitment of Africa to take responsibility destiny and deepen democracy and the continent,” said Kenyatta.
Jammeh has refused to step down from office and said he does not accept the result of an election won by Barrow, a former London security guard.
The standoff prompted Senegalese troops to enter The Gambia in a bid to get Jammeh to cede to Barrow, but the operation was halted to allow time for mediation.
He was given a last chance to step down before a military intervention.
“Orders were given to the troops to stop their advance and they have stopped, because the ECOWAS privileges the initiatives of dialogue and diplomacy,” President of the ECOWAS Commission Marcel Alain Da Souza said.
Barrow, who officially became the third head of state of The Gambia, after Dawda Jawara and Jammeh, who has been in power since 1994 through a coup d’etat, was forced to be sworn in at the Gambian embassy in Dakar on Thursday. Enditem