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SABALLY URGES BARROW TO PUSH FOR MEDIATION IN NIGER

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By Omar Bah

As Ecowas leaders set out for another emergency meeting on the situation in Niger in Abuja Thursday, the campaign manager of the main opposition United Democratic Party (UDP)has advised President Adama Barrow to insist on Ecowas exploring mediation in the crisis.

President Barrow is likely to join his colleagues from across the region in Abuja again to discuss the next move towards addressing the Niger crisis.

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The regional body has threatened to use force to restore the civilian regime in Niamey. A deadline initially set for Sunday has passed and the world is waiting for the next step of Ecowas at its meeting on Thursday.

The region’s army chiefs too met over the matter and though not much has been disclosed from their meeting there is general fear that the use of force could still be on the card.

Ahead of the meeting, Sabally shared an audio with The Standard yesterday in which he directly appealed to President Barrow to advise his fellow Ecowas leaders to continue to explore mediation and avoid waging ‘what could be an uncalculated war against Niger’.

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“I think President Barrow has a good opportunity to use Gambia’s success story in 2016 to convince his fellow presidents to use diplomatic means and avoid shedding the blood of innocent people. If Ecowas was able to persuade Yahya Jammeh, I see no reason why they should not implore the same tactics in Niger,” Sabally said.

He said the very thought of Gambia contributing troops to the operation is not palatable and could be detrimental.

“Mr President, we don’t want our brothers and sisters to die in a war that could be avoided. The Gambia is a peaceful country,” he said.

Sabally added that government should also consider the fact that there could be many Gambians currently living in Niger trying to find their way to Europe.

“If there is any instability there, they will be affected and lives may be lost,” he warned.

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