Jul 17, 2008, 6:22 AM
Senegal-Gambia-Guinea Bissau Women’s Forum yesterday called on President Yahya
Jammeh to respect the choice of the sovereign people of The Gambia.
They made the call at a press conference held at the African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies (ACDHRS) headquarters in Kololi.
Speaking at the press conference, Hannah Forster, the Executive Director of ACDHRS, said the Senegal-Gambia-Guinea Bissau Women’s Forum is out to help promote and strengthen peace and stability in the sub-region.
This, she said, is in line with the principle of peace that the Forum is dedicated to promote with all its energy.
“The Senegal-Gambia-Guinea Bissau Women’s Forum is urging all parties to exercise full restraint and give priority to dialogue and non-violence to resolve this crisis.”
She said all should be mindful of the observance of the laws, the Constitution of The Gambia and all treaties, protocols and conventions signed by The Gambia, in respect of the sacred nature of the power and will of the people.
Therefore, she noted, there is also the principle of democracy that de facto confers on the elected president the legitimacy to govern and lead a free and united people.
Mrs Forster said the Senegal-Gambia-Guinea Bissau Women’s Forum reasserted its commitment to bring its contribution towards the resolution of the current crisis by non-violent means.
“We welcome all the initiatives and efforts by ECOWAS, the AU and UN towards a peaceful resolution, and solemnly call on outgoing President Jammeh, as Pan Africanist, to listen to his people and give priority to discussion, dialogue and consultation as genuine African values constantly observed by our forefathers, when faced with similar choices.”
The Forum also strongly urges the Gambia Armed Forces not to stand up against their people, who have so far demonstrated a high-level of maturity, and to support the desire for change, progress and peace.