Gambia’s Jammeh digs in as regional leaders fail to reach deal

Gambia’s Jammeh digs in as regional leaders fail to reach deal


Gambian President Yahya Jammeh attends a meeting with a delegation of West African leaders during the election crisis mediation at the presidential palace in Banjul, Gambia December 13, 2016.

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh’s ruling party challenged his defeat in a Dec. 1 election at the Supreme Court on Tuesday as West African leaders failed to reach a deal that would see him accept the result and end a deepening political crisis.

Soldiers also seized the headquarters of the national elections commission and sealed it off just hours before the mediation delegation representing regional bloc ECOWAS touched down in the tiny riverside nation.

Jammeh, who has ruled Gambia since taking power in a 1994 coup and is accused of widespread rights abuses, initially conceded defeat to his main challenger, Adama Barrow. But in a dramatic about-face that drew international condemnation he then rejected the poll results last Friday.

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