Breaking: Gambia’s president Jammeh declares state of emergency

With just two days left in office, Gambia’s president, Yahya Jammeh, has declared a national state of emergency.

The announcement of the state of emergency is coming hours after Gambia’s ministers for finance, foreign affairs, trade and the environment resigned from Jammeh’s government.

Jammeh in a national TV address on Tuesday, January 17, said that the 90-day measure was necessary because of “the unprecedented and extraordinary amount of foreign interference” in a December 1 presidential vote, which he lost to opposition leader Adama Barrow.

The former coup leader also cited external interference “the internal affairs of The Gambia and the unwarranted hostile atmosphere threatening the sovereignty, peace, security and stability of the country”.

The state of emergency bans “acts of disobdience” and “acts intended to disturb public order”.

According to Al-Jazeera’s Nicolas Haque, “The decision to declare a state of emergency was taken by the national parliament that convened secretly.”
 “What this means is that all land, sea and air borders will be shut down. Gambia, as of right now, is effectively on lockdown.”

Jammeh who has ruled the small West African country since 1994, initially conceded defeat but a week later contested the poll’s results stating irregularities.

READ Also  West African troops to stay three more months in Gambia

He is refusing to step down despite international pressure and the threat by other West African nations of a military intervention.

Last week, Sheriff Bolang, the country’s information minister resigned and fled over the refusal of Jammeh to step down after his defeat in the December, 2016 poll.

 

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