"The will of the Gambian people must be respected", Security Council urges

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Wide view of the Security Council. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine (file)

The will of the people of Gambia must be respected as well as the outcome of the 1 December election which recognized Adama Barrow as President-elect.

The Security Council made the call as it adopted a UN resolution expressing "full support" to the political efforts of ECOWAS, the West African regional bloc, in helping secure a peaceful transition of power in The Gambia.

The Council also commended the African Union's decision to cease to recognize Yayah Jammeh as the legitimate President of The Gambia as of 19 January.

Jocelyne Sambira has the story.

President Adama Barrow of The Gambia called for international support as he took the oath of office on Thursday, Fode Seck, Senegal's Ambassador to the UN, confirmed.

The ceremony was held in the Gambian embassy in Dakar before the Senegalese authorities, the diplomatic corps, representatives of regional organizations and the UN special envoy for West Africa, Ibn Chambas.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres congratulated President Barrow on his inauguration and expressed "deep concern" about the refusal of the outgoing premier, Yayah Jammeh, to step aside.

Mr Jammeh initially accepted his defeat in the polls, before rejecting the official results just over a week later, and then ordering a takeover of the Independent Electoral Commission.

In Thursday's resolution, the UN Security Council condemned Mr Jammeh's attempts to "usurp the will of the people and undermine the integrity of the electoral process."

The Council also urged the Gambian defence and security forces to demonstrate "maximum restraint" to maintain an atmosphere of calm in the country and recalled "their duty and obligation to place themselves at the disposal of the democratically elected authorities."

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’10″

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