As tourists evacuate Gambia, DA wants ambassador summoned

Tourists and locals have began to evacuate Gambia as West African military forces threaten to remove President Yahya Jammeh, who refuses to step down following his defeat to Adama Barrow in the country’s elections on 1 December 2016.

The country has since been in a State of Emergency. The newly elected president is due to be inaugurated as the new president on Thursday, but Mr Jammeh has ignored the deadline.

The Democratic Alliance on Wednesday asked the government to summon Gambia’s ambassador to South Africa over Gambia’s president’s attempt to stay in power “at all costs”.

DA international relations spokesperson, Stevens Mokgalapa, said in a statement that International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane should oppose Jammeh’s “dictatorial conduct”.

“Nkoana-Mashabane should make it clear that the South African government and its people are completely opposed to this dictatorial conduct,” Mokgalapa said.

“It’s time to show that we are serious about democracy, human rights and peace on the African continent and elsewhere.

“Summoning the Gambian ambassador will be a welcomed first step in achieving this.”

Department of International Relations spokesperson, Clayson Monyela, said the request by the DA was premature.

“The DA needs to be reminded that the AU (African Union) is working in Gambia to try and mediate to find a solution,” he said.

“The idea to recall an ambassador while mediation is underway is premature.”

– News24

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