Saturday, May 14, 2016

Conde to Jammeh : Consider stepping down and release Darboe and others immediately

Alpha Conde of Guinea 
Yaya Jammeh 
The Guinean president didn't mince his words when he met with his Gambian counterpart at the Coco Ocean Hotel in Bijilo this morning as reported in our recent blog post.

Although the border closure featured, as expected, President Alpha Conde appeared to have come with a message from the international community and perhaps President Macky Sall of Senegal whom he met and/or spoke to in the last week.  Conde may have also been expressing sentiments held by Jammeh's other  ECOWAS colleagues

President Conde was reportedly blunt and his set of advises pointed. He reportedly told Jammeh that his relations with the international community has been confrontational and unnecessarily so.  Jammeh was thus advised by his Guinean counterpart and friend to tone it down because, if not, sanctions will be applied by members of the European Union that will not only affect The Gambia but will negatively impact the ECOWAS region.

The frank talk between two friends didn't stop at that.

Conde's assessment of the political upheaval that started to unfold with Solo Sandeng-led protest demonstrations on the 14th April is that things will only get worse and not get better.  In this regard, and to help avert bloodshed, Jammeh was advised to consider stepping down after his current term. He is advised not to be a candidate in the upcoming December presidential elections.  We can venture to say this is message that was coming not from Alpha Conde but from the international community, including some members of the ECOWAS Community.  

To allow for adequate time to properly prepare for them, Jammeh was advised to consider postponing the December elections.  We do not have any information on the new proposed time frame, if any was indeed suggested.

At the end of the meeting, Jammeh was encouraged by Conde to attend the upcoming ECOWAS Summit that will be hosted by the current Chairman and President of Senegal, Macky Sall, on the 4th of June in Dakar with no indication from Jammeh whether he will attend.

At the end of the meeting, Jammeh elected to return to State House instead of having drinks or lunch with his guest before he sees Conde off in the next hour or two.  Our sources were unanimous in their observation that Jammeh looked dejected and visibly upset on his way to State House.