Africa

Gambian electoral crisis tops agenda at West African summit

  • 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)

  • Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari, arrives for the  Economic Community Of West African States, ECOWAS, Heads of State and Government summit in Abuja, Nigeria, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Olamikan Gbemiga)

    Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari, arrives for the Economic Community Of West African States, ECOWAS, Heads of State and Government summit in Abuja, Nigeria, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Olamikan Gbemiga)  (The Associated Press)

  • Ivory Coast President, Alassane Ouattara, arrives for the  Economic Community Of West African States, ECOWAS, Heads of State and Government summit in Abuja, Nigeria, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Olamikan Gbemiga)

    Ivory Coast President, Alassane Ouattara, arrives for the Economic Community Of West African States, ECOWAS, Heads of State and Government summit in Abuja, Nigeria, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Olamikan Gbemiga)  (The Associated Press)

West African leaders at a summit in Nigeria are discussing the Gambian president's refusal to accept electoral defeat. Military intervention is among options.

Longtime ruler Yahya Jammeh conceded defeat in the Dec. 1 polls, then changed his mind and called for new elections. The United Nations, the United States and leading West African countries have condemned him.

On Saturday, the chair of the Economic Community of West African States, Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, urged leaders to decide "measures to bring this matter to successful conclusion before Jan. 19," when Jammeh's mandate expires.

Community president Marcel de Souza said Friday a military intervention must be considered if diplomacy fails to persuade Jammeh to step down.

He seized power in a 1994 coup and is accused of gross human rights abuses.