Speech

"The people of The Gambia spoke clearly at the elections in December. They chose Adama Barrow to be their President."

Statement by Ambassador Peter Wilson, UK Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on The Gambia.

The Gambia Flag

Thank you Mr. President,

I join others in welcoming the unanimous adoption of resolution 2337. I commend Senegal for their swift and decisive action in presenting this text today.

But in truth, Mr President, the Council shouldn’t have to do this. The people of The Gambia spoke clearly at the elections in December. They chose Adama Barrow to be their President. Their voice now needs to be heard and their will needs to be heeded by just one man.

The resolution is clear. Former President Jammeh must respect the decision of the Gambian people and immediately hand over power. His failure to do so up until this point is only bringing uncertainty to the people of The Gambia.

Despite this setback, the Gambian people have shown admirable restraint and stoicism by remaining calm in the face of uncertainty. They have given former President Jammeh time to consider the many options which are open to him. We look to all parties in The Gambia, particularly the security forces, to continue to act with restraint and to maintain this calm.

We welcome the work of ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) to resolve this. At a time of unease in The Gambia, it’s reassuring to see effective regional leadership on display. Mr Jammeh has been given many, many opportunities by his neighbours and partners, and most importantly by the Gambian people themselves. It is now time for him to do the right thing.

Thank you.

Published 19 January 2017