On Jan 5, 2017 The Washington Blade reported: A Gambian newspaper on Thursday accused members of the LGBT community of plotting a coup against President Yahya Jammeh.
The Daily Observer, which a human rights activist described to the Washington Blade as a “state-run propaganda outlet,” wrote in an editorial that Jammeh has “defied the LBGT Lobby who is allied with the Oil and Gas Lobby in an endeavor to undertake a Regime Change Coup in the Gambia.”
Jammeh lost to Adama Barrow, an independent candidate who represented the United Democratic Party, a coalition of eight opposition parties, in his country’s presidential elections that took place on Dec. 1.
Jammeh initially said he would not challenge the results. He announced on Dec. 9 that he would not accept them, citing what he described as voting irregularities.
The U.N., the White House and the African Union have all criticized Jammeh for rejecting the election results.
West African heads of state who attended a summit of the Economic Community of West African States that took place last month in the Nigerian capital of Abuja said they plan to attend Barrow’s inauguration on Jan. 19. The Associated Press reported ECOWAS President Marcel de Souza said the group would consider military intervention to enforce the Gambian election results.
The Associated Press this week reported Alieu Momarr Njai, chair of Gambia’s Independent Electoral Commission that certified the election results, has fled the country.
Jeffrey Smith, executive director of Vanguard Africa, a Washington-based group that worked with Barrow and the United Democratic Party ahead of the election, on Thursday described Jammeh’s claims as “underhanded, baseless and totally absurd.”