The Network of West and Central African NGO National Platforms (REPAOC) draws lessons from the Gambian presidential elections
On 1st December 2016, Gambia elected a new President in accordance with the Constitution of The Republic of Gambia. The subsequent seizure of power by the outgoing President, Yahya Jammeh was identified as a blatant violation of the protocol on good governance and democracy. CSPPS-member organization REPAOC, a major contributor to the ECOWAS Community Development Program (Vision 2020), describes that it required the mobilization of ECOWAS, African Union and United Nations' military troops to force the former President of The Gambia to relinquish power after HE Mr. Adama Barrow was inaugurated at the Gambian Embassy in Dakar Senegal.
To support peace in The Gambia, REPAOC urges His Excellency Adama Barrow to use all legal means to restore the country's national unity and to work for the implementation of the United Nations and the African Union's respective 2030 and 2063 agendas.
REPAOC emphatically reasserts its unreserved conviction that power can and should no longer be seized by force, by arms and by violence when the people freely choose their leaders. REPAOC recalls that West Africa must be a region in which states must respect the regional agreements (Protocol on Good Governance and Democracy). To support peace in The Gambia, REPAOC urges His Excellency Adama Barrow to use all legal means to restore the country's national unity and to work for the implementation of the United Nations and the African Union's respective 2030 and 2063 agendas. Thus, REPAOC has issued a communiqué calling on the international community and all development partners to make firm and bold decisions to ensure that democratic processes prevail. REPAOC approach is non-governmental diplomacy based on dialogue. In the case of the situation in the Gambia the approach used by REPAOC was preventive diplomacy.