Buhari heads high-level delegation to Gambia

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari and Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf discuss during Gambia election crisis mediation in Banjul, Gambia December 13, 2016 REUTERS/Stringer

Abuja, Nigeria – Officials say Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari will lead three West African heads of state to Gambia on Wednesday in an effort to persuade its longtime leader to step down.

Nigerian Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyema says a meeting Monday in Abuja agreed on the mission, the second presidential delegation from the Economic Community of West African States to visit Gambia since President Yahya Jammeh lost Dec. 1 elections.

Jammeh initially conceded the loss but changed his mind.

The West African bloc has said it has a military force on standby if Jammeh refuses to cede power when his mandate expires Jan. 19.

Leaders meeting Saturday in Ghana said they were still working on a diplomatic solution.

Monday’s meeting included presidents of Liberia and of Senegal, which would lead any military intervention.

Associated Press

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