Gambian President Yahya Jammeh said he would not step down and condemned mediation by West African regional bloc ECOWAS that aims to get him to leave power after he lost a Dec. 1 election to challenger Adama Barrow.
“I am not a coward. My right cannot be intimidated and violated. This is my position. Nobody can deprive me of that victory except the Almighty Allah,” Jammeh said.
“Already the ECOWAS meeting was a formality. Before they came, they had already said Jammeh must step down. I will not step down,” he said.
Jammeh initially accepted the results of an election whose outcome was seen across Africa as a moment of hope. He is accused by human rights groups of the detention, torture and killing of perceived opponents during his 22-year rule.
On Dec. 9, he reversed his position and said he would challenge in the country’s Supreme Court the results of an election he said was riddled with irregularities.