Statement by the Spokesperson on efforts in favour of a peaceful transition in The Gambia:

The European Union supports the current efforts by the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union and the United Nations, to ensure a peaceful transition in The Gambia, following presidential elections on 1 December.

We particularly welcome the recent mission of four ECOWAS Heads of State, under the leadership of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, together with the UN, to Banjul to this end. In the light of the ECOWAS summit taking place on 17 December, we stand ready to lend further support to these efforts.

The European Union expects President Jammeh to respect the will of the Gambian people as expressed on 1 December. In this context, the occupation of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) premises by Gambian security forces is unacceptable, as it violates the principle of independence of the IEC.

The European Union is looking forward to fully engage with President-elect Adama Barrow as soon as he has taken office on 18 January, to step up our relations in a wide range of areas and support progress regarding democracy, human rights, good governance and sustainable and inclusive development.

source: European External Action Service (EEAS).

The Secretary-General is following developments regarding the formation of a new Government in Guinea-Bissau closely, notably the decisions taken by President Joseacute; Maacute;rio Vaz in this regard on 12 December 2016 and the statement by the Partido Africano da Independecirc;ncia da Guineacute; e Cabo Verde (PAIGC) of 13 December 2016, distancing itself from the new Cabinet. He urges the Bissau-Guinean political stakeholders to demonstrate goodwill and a spirit of compromise to take advantage of the Conakry Accord of 10 September 2016 as an important first step in the implementation of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Roadmap aimed at ending the political impasse and restoring institutional viability in Guinea Bissau.

The Secretary-General encourages ECOWAS to continue to support the efforts of the Bissau-Guinean leaders towards this end. He is looking forward to the pertinent decisions of the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government at their Summit on 17 December 2016 in Abuja to facilitate full implementation of the Conakry Agreement.

His Special Representative in Guinea-Bissau and Head of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau, Mr. Modibo I. Toureacute; will continue working closely with all the stakeholders in Guinea-Bissau, in close collaboration with ECOWAS, the African Union and other key partners towards a definitive solution to the institutional crisis.

source:United Nations – Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.