United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is calling on the military in The Gambia to vacate the premises of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).
Gambian forces were said to have seized the building of the IEC on Tuesday following rejection of results of the December 1 elections by President Yahya Jammeh.
President Jammeh, who had ruled the West African nation for 22 years, conceded defeat to Adama Barrow in the elections but later beat a retreat to reject the results, claiming there were irregularities.
This allegation has been rejected by the Commission.
But a day after the seizure, Mr Ki-moon condemned the act as “outrageous” and a “disrespect of the will of the Gambian people and defiance towards the international community at a time when a high-level Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) delegation was in the country to broker a peaceful transfer of power”.
He added in a statement released on Wednesday, December 14 that “this action violates the independent status of the IEC under the Gambian constitution and could compromise the sensitive electoral material under the Commission’s custody”.
Among the West African leaders in the country are Ghana’s John Dramani Mahama, Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari and Liberia’s Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who is also Chair of Ecowas.
The UN Secretary General demands a peaceful transfer of power “in full respect of the will of the Gambian people as expressed in the presidential elections”.
“[UN SG] calls on the Gambian military and security forces to immediately vacate the IEC premises and to refrain from any further acts with the intent to jeopardise efforts towards the peaceful transfer of power.”
He said those found responsible must be held accountable.
By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana