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SG/SM/18364-AFR/3505

Secretary-General Condemns Military Takeover of Gambia Electoral Offices

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

The Secretary-General has learned with dismay the takeover yesterday morning of Gambia’s Independent Electoral Commission premises by the military.  He condemns this outrageous act of disrespect of the will of the Gambian people and defiance towards the international community at a time when a high-level Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) delegation was in the country to broker a peaceful transfer of power.  This action violates the independent status of the Independent Electoral Commission under the Gambian Constitution and could compromise the sensitive electoral material under the Commission's custody.

The Secretary-General reiterates his call for a peaceful, timely and orderly transfer of power, in full respect of the will of the Gambian people as expressed in the presidential election.  He calls on the Gambian military and security forces to immediately vacate the Independent Electoral Commission premises and to refrain from any further acts with the intent to jeopardize efforts towards the peaceful transfer of power.  Those found responsible for acts of violence and human rights violations must be held accountable.

For information media. Not an official record.