Gambia’s neighboring Senegal’s President Macky Sall said this week that a military intervention to unseat President Yahya Jammeh will be the last resort to uphold the outcomes of the country’s election, but warned there will be dramatic consequences for Jammeh and his allies if they engage in a military showdown with sub-regional troops.
Sall hopes that Mr. Jammeh “listen to reason” and step down when his mandate ends on January 18.
“The use of force can only be an ultimate step when diplomacy has completely failed. I do not think it is reasonable for President Jammeh and his allies to engage in a showdown,” President Sall said.
Sall said crimes were committed by the Jammeh regime, but engaging in a military confrontation will mean more consequences for The Gambia’s demoralized leader.
“There were certainly crimes. But if we engage in a showdown, it is clear that the consequences will be much more dramatic. If it is necessary to dialogue and find a way out for Jammeh to be protected, why not. I am for dialogue and allow him to leave quietly. I hope that President Jammeh will hear reason,” Sall said.
UN Human Rights Chief warned President Yahya Jammeh and forces loyal to him will be held responsible for human rights abuses if post-electoral violence erupts due to his refusal to hand over power peacefully to the duly president-elect, Adama Barrow.
ECOWAS has put a standby force in place to oust Jammeh. Jammeh says it is “declaration of war” and would “defend the country.”
Jammeh’s party have lodged an election petition with the Supreme Court and the opposition coalition says they are proceeding with plans for inauguration of the president-elect, Adama Barrow.
ECOWAS leaders have served notice that they will attend Barrow’s investiture but Jammeh has also said there will be no event on the said date until fresh elections have been held by a “truly independent and God fearing electoral body.”
(Reporting and Writing by Sam Phatey; Additional Reporting by Africa News; Editing by Sainey MK Marenah)