Africa

UN chief says Gambian forces should vacate election offices

  • Gambia President elect, Adama Barrow, centre, sits during a meeting with Ecowas delegation in Banjul, Gambia, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. Gambia's ruling party pressed for fresh elections, as West African regional mediators intervened Tuesday to try to resolve a political crisis in the tiny West African country that voted its leader of 22 years from power. (AP Photo/ Sylvain Cherkaoui)

    Gambia President elect, Adama Barrow, centre, sits during a meeting with Ecowas delegation in Banjul, Gambia, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. Gambia's ruling party pressed for fresh elections, as West African regional mediators intervened Tuesday to try to resolve a political crisis in the tiny West African country that voted its leader of 22 years from power. (AP Photo/ Sylvain Cherkaoui)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE- In this Friday Dec. 2, 2016 file photo, Gambians celebrate the victory of Opposition coalition candidate Adama Barrow, run past an army soldier on the streets of Serrekunda, Gambia. The United Nations secretary-general says a takeover by Gambia's security forces of the country's electoral commission offices could compromise "sensitive electoral material" as the president refuses to accept being voted out of power. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay, File)

    FILE- In this Friday Dec. 2, 2016 file photo, Gambians celebrate the victory of Opposition coalition candidate Adama Barrow, run past an army soldier on the streets of Serrekunda, Gambia. The United Nations secretary-general says a takeover by Gambia's security forces of the country's electoral commission offices could compromise "sensitive electoral material" as the president refuses to accept being voted out of power. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay, File)  (The Associated Press)

The United Nations secretary-general says a takeover by Gambia's security forces of the country's electoral commission offices could compromise "sensitive electoral material" as the president refuses to accept being voted out of power.

The spokesman for the U.N. chief in a statement Wednesday said Tuesday's blockading of the election offices was an "outrageous act of disrespect" and a sign of defiance as West African leaders visited to urge President Yahya Jammeh to accept his loss.

The U.N. statement calls on security forces to immediately leave the electoral offices. It also calls for a peaceful transfer of power.

West African leaders will meet Saturday about Gambia's election crisis. Jammeh initially conceded to Adama Barrow, who won the Dec. 1 vote, but later rejected the results.

Jammeh's party wants a new election.