In a bid to discharge his mandate as the mediator for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in The Gambia, President Muhammadu Buhari has began discussions with leaders in the sub-region and international pertners.
In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media Garba Shehu, the president said that one of the outcomes of the just-concluded ECOWAS Summit held on December 17, 2016 in Abuja was his appointment as the mediator for The Gambia, with the out-going president of Ghana, Mr. John Mahama, as co-mediator.
Also, the summit gave the terms of reference to include ensuring the safety of the president-elect, Adama Barrow, the political leaders and the entire population; upholding the result of the presidential election held on December 1, 2016 and ensure the swearing-in of Barrow on January 19, 2017, in conformity with the constitution of the country.
According to the statement, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama, was appointed to lead a Mediation Support Team (MST) working with the team of Mahama.
LEADERSHIP Sunday learnt that the main task of the MST would be the undertaking of the first phase of the preparatory and support work which would lead to a high-level meeting of the mediator (President Buhari) and the stakeholders.
According to Shehu, the president remained optimistic that a peaceful resolution of the problem, in line with the laws and the constitution of The Gambia, could be achieved before January 19, 2017.