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.
Distributed by APO on behalf of European External Action Service (EEAS).