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Mediators fail to reach deal on Gambia crisis

15 January 2017

The African Union has said it will no longer recognise The Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh as the country's leader from next Thursday, when his term ends.

His visit to Bamako came after last-ditch attempts on Friday by a regional mediation team led by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari to persuade Gambia's longtime leader Yahya Jammeh to step down failed.

"The ECOWAS team has made a decision to depart Banjul tonight in the company of president-elect Barrow headed for Bamako, Mali", Onyeama said.

The Mediators are hoping to strike a deal with President Jammeh to accept the results and pave way for the January 19 inauguration of the new President.

Gambia has been in a political deadlock since Barrow, a real estate mogul who was little known before he announced his candidacy, defeated Jammeh in the election.

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He initially accepted defeat in the December 1 election and publicly congratulated victor Adama Barrow, the candidate of an opposition coalition.

Mr Jammeh later filed a suit at the supreme court asking judges to determine that Adama Barrow was not duly elected or returned as president, and that the said election was void.

There was no immediate response from Buhari, who is expected to travel to Banjul on Friday for talks. Barrow's office responded to the injunction request with a statement that Jammeh could not exceed his five-year mandate.

Earlier on Thursday, Nigerian legislators passed a vote that allows Jammeh to be granted political asylum should he opt to step down and peacefully transfer executive power when his tenure ends.

Tibna Sambe Na Wana, the national coordinator for Guinea-Bissau's refugee commission, said more than 1,000 Gambians had crossed into the country, where they do not require a visa, in recent days. On December 10, Jammeh rejected the outcome of the election and filed a petition to the court.

Mediators fail to reach deal on Gambia crisis