Banjul, The Gambia
For Immediate Release
December 22, 2016

We are disappointed in President Jammeh’s televised remarks of December 20th in which he indicated that he is unwilling to abide by the will of the Gambian people and facilitate a democratic transfer of power. We fully support the Economic Community of West African States’ (ECOWAS) recent consensus declaration that it will support the people of The Gambia and seek to ensure that President Jammeh cedes power at the end of his term in January. We echo the ECOWAS call for President Jammeh to peacefully transfer power to his elected successor, Adama Barrow, in accordance with Gambian law.

We applaud the strong statement from ECOWAS, calling on President Jammeh to transfer power to his elected successor. We commend President Buhari and President Mahama for agreeing to serve as mediator and co-chair respectively of an ECOWAS mediation committee. We also commend all of the leaders of ECOWAS for their public commitment to attend the January 19 inauguration of President-elect Barrow.

We continue to believe that the outcome of the December 1 election reflects the will of The Gambian people. It is a profound demonstration of a leader’s strength and commitment to national unity, when he or she steps aside after losing in a fair and democratic election, such as The Gambia’s election.

We continue to call on President-elect Barrow and his supporters to engage with President Jammeh in a respectful manner and in accordance with Gambian and international law.

We also implore the Gambian security forces to continue to ensure peace in the country, protect all civilians, guarantee the safety and security of President-elect Barrow, and to respect the democratic transfer of power.

We strongly urge the Gambian security forces that entered the headquarters of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on December 13 to withdraw and not to threaten or intimidate members of the IEC. We view this unnecessary and unprovoked show of force as a move to subvert the democratic process in The Gambia.

As we have said before, the United States condemns outgoing President Jammeh’s statements rejecting the December 1 election results, as well as the decision by Jammeh’s Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) party to file a petition challenging the election before the Supreme Court. This action is an attempt to rewrite the results after Jammeh accepted them and pledged to respect the will of the people on December 2.

We will continue to monitor the situation and urge all sides to remain calm and refrain from violence.