Gambia’s Foreign Ministry has backtracked on its position relative to the political crisis in Togo. The sector minister was on record to have said Togolese president Faure Gnassingbe had to resign immediately.
But in a statement on Monday, the Ministry said it was up to the people of Togo to find a solution to what is largely an internal affair. The statement stressed that both countries are still bonded by strong ties.
“At this moment, there is no reason warranting the government of the Republic of The Gambia to take a position, since the Togolese people continue to make efforts to find a solution to the crisis,” the statement said.
FM Darboe never called for the resignation of Togolese President as alleged by Reuters News Agency. Rebuttal published in a new article.
— Foreign Ministry (@MOFAGambia) October 23, 2017
Gambia’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Ousainou Darboe had earlier told Reuters that regional bloc, ECOWAS, and the African Union had to intervene in the crisis and shepherd Faure Gnassingbe out of power.
“I think the African Union and ECOWAS should engage Togo and persuade the president to step down. When it goes against accepted norms I don’t think it should be treated as an internal affair,” he is quoted to have said.
Incidentally, Togo and The Gambia are undertaking processes to cap presidential limits. Togo has proposed a referendum to decide on the move whiles the Gambia is also working on a similar law.
Togo’s 1992 constitution had term limits but it was scrapped by Eyadema, Faure’s father who ruled for 38 years till his death. Faure has been in power for 12 years and his current mandateruns till 2020.
The Gambia had until January 2017 been ruled by Yahya Jammeh who lost elections in December 2016 to incumbent Adama Barrow – an opposition coalition candidate.