Gambia: Jammeh Declares A 90-Day State Of Emergency [READ FULL TEXT]

Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh

Embattled President Yahya Jammeh of Gambia has declared a 90-day state of emergency in the West African country.
Statement read:

“I, Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya AJJ Jammeh Babili Mansa,President of the Islamic Republic of The Gambia andCommander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces, Acting under theprovisions of section 34 (1) (b) of the constitution of the IslamicRepublic of the Gambia, today, the 17th of January 2017,hereby declare a state of public emergency throughout theIslamic Republic of Gambia as a situation exists which, if it isallowed to continue, may lead to a state of public emergency.
The unprecedented and extraordinary amount of foreigninterference in the 1st December Presidential Elections, andalso in the internal affairs of the Gambia, and the unwarrantedhostile atmosphere threatening the sovereignty, peace,security and stability of the country.The inability of the Supreme Court to convene as a result of thenon-appearance of the Judges to hear the election petitions,mainly influenced by foreign powers and their agents, in aneffort to thwart the constitutionally mandated process, ascaptured in an audio recording of the absconded chairman ofthe IEC discussing on how plans have been made to ensure theSupreme Court Judges will not sit on time to hear the petitionsagainst the flawed results he published.The current state of fear and confusion created by some of thepolitical players in the country, which could lead to thebreakdown of law and order.The need to prevent a constitutional crisis and power vacuumpending the determination of the petitions at the SupremeCourt and the application for an injunction against swearing inMr. Adama Barrow or anybody as president of the IslamicRepublic of the Gambia, until the Supreme Court decides onthe 1st December 2016 Presidential Election results.Under this state of public emergency, civil liberties are to befully respected while all citizens and residents in the Gambiaare banned from any acts of disobedience to the Laws of theGambia, incitement to violence and acts intended to disturbpublic order and peace.The security forces are hereby instructed to maintain absolutelaw and order throughout the country.
Signed:His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhagie Dr. Yahya AJJ JammehBabili MansaPresident of the Islamic Republic of the Gambia.”

This move, one of a series of desperate attempts to retain power, comes on Tuesday, January 17, 2017, about 24 hours to the end of Jammeh’s tenure as president.
On Monday, Jammeh leaked a phone conversation which he had with Liberian president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in which he pleaded with Sirleaf to convince West African leaders to allow judges from other West African nations step into the legal process in Gambia to listen to his petition against Barrow’s victory.
Sirleaf is the chairperson of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, which is leading the charge in mediation between Jammeh and the winner of the December election, Adama Barrow, the opposition candidate.
Barrow is currently in Dakar, the capital of neighbouring Senegal, but his supporters have said nothing would stop his inauguration, which is scheduled for Thursday.
Jammeh had accepted the result of the election which threw up Barrow, a former security operative, as the winner of the December 2016 poll. But, later recanted and annulled the election.
Leaders of the Economic Community of West African State, ECOWAS, have appealed to him to step down, but he refused, insisting that the supreme court must decide on his suit challenging the result.
Gambia’s Supreme Court has operated with only one justice for several years, making it impossible for it to form a quorum. Jammeh made a spirited attempt to appoint new justices to the Supreme Court in the past weeks. But the justices, who are not from Gambia, for various reasons, are yet to resume.
Earlier, the African Union (AU) had told Jammeh that it would cease to recognise him from Thursday. A conference of African leaders and the French president, held last week, also rose with the same resolution. 
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