ECOWAS PRESS RELEASE ON SITUATION IN THE GAMBIA

ECOWAS Commission expresses concerns over the Political situation in the Islamic State of The Gambia

The political situation in the Islamic State of The Gambia is marked by the arrest, detention and death of some opposition leaders following demonstrations advocating political reforms prior to the presidential election scheduled to hold in December 2016.

ECOWAS reiterates that the consolidation of peace and stability in the Islam State of The Gambia can only result from a consensual, inclusive  and nationally-owned process and respect for constitutional order.

ECOWAS  therefore calls  on  the political  stakeholders  including  opposition members and civil society organizations to display  a profound sense of civic responsibility  and  patriotism in  the exercise of  their  civil  rights to  peaceful assembly.

ECOWAS further calls  on the  government of the Islamic State  of The Gambia  to ensure the  freedom of  expression and  strict adherence to  the  rule  of  law  and the   principles   of   human  rights.  The   Commission  further   appeals   to   the Gambian  security forces  to put  up a republican comportment and  refrain from the use of any  form  of  excessive  force while  maintaining law  and order

The  ECOWAS Commission extends  its deep  condolences to  the  families of  the deceased   persons and  calls  on  the government of  the  Islamic State  of  The Gambia  to shed  light on  the  circumstances that  led to  the recent unfortunate event.

The ECOWAS Commission will continue monitoring the situation, and expresses its readiness to support the Authorities and citizens of the Islamic State of The Gambia for a peaceful resolution of the crisis.

Done at Abuja, this 19th Day of April 2016

ECOWAS Commission