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Saturday, January 14, 2017

Gambia President Yahya Jammeh Refuses to Step Down

By Daniel Uria  

President of Gambia Yahya Jammeh has refused to step down from office following meetings with several African leaders. President-elect Adama Barrow left the country to attend the France Africa summit in Mali in hopes of resolving the situation so he can be sworn in. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo

BANJUL, Gambia, (UPI) -- Gambian President-elect Adama Barrow flew out of the country after talks to persuade President Yahya Jammeh to step down failed.

Talks between Jammeh, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, Liberian President Johnson Sirleaf and former president of Ghana John Dramani Mahama stalled after Jammeh refused to relinquish power, Jollofnews reported.

Barrow flew from Gambia to Mali to meet with the Economic Community of West African States at the ongoing France Africa summit where West African leaders will discuss the political standoff.

Jammeh's term is set to end on Thursday as Barrow hopes to have the issue preventing the presidential transition resolved so he can be sworn in, according to the BBC.

The African Union announced it will no longer recognize Jammeh's rule beyond Thursday and ECOWAS has said it will consider resulting to military force if he does not step down from office on his own.

Jammeh initially accepted the results of the election after Barrow won 43.3 percent of the vote versus his 39.9 percent.

He later filed a request with the Supreme Court to block Barrow from swearing in and said he will not step down until the court is able to reach a decision in May.

Jammeh has been accused of human rights violations since seizing control of the country in 1994 and thousands of Gambians have fled the country due to fear of the political uncertainty.