United Nations Security Council Resolution 2337

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UN Security Council
Resolution 2337
Gambia (orthographic projection with inset).svg
Map of the Gambia
Date19 January 2017
Meeting no.7,866
CodeS/RES/2337 (Document)
Summary15 voted for
None voted against
None abstained
Security Council composition
Permanent members
Non-permanent members

United Nations Security Council Resolution 2337 was a measure unanimously adopted by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on 19 January 2017.[1][2] It expressed support for efforts by ECOWAS to peacefully resolve the 2016–2017 Gambian constitutional crisis, calling on President Yahya Jammeh to step down and allow a peaceful transition to the President-elect, Adama Barrow, as well as supporting the African Union and ECOWAS decisions in recognizing Adama Barrow as the new President.[3][4] The measure was adopted by a vote of 15 supporting, none opposed, and none abstained.


The Gambian constitutional crisis[edit]

The Gambia's presidential elections were held on 1 December 2016 with the Independent Electoral Commission previously accepting three nominees in November 2016[5] which included Yahya Jammeh of the Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Reconstruction (APRC), Adama Barrow of Coalition 2016, and Mama Kandeh of the Gambia Democratic Congress, respectively.[6]

On 2 December 2016, Yahya Jammeh conceded defeat to the electoral candidate Adama Barrow.[7][8] However, on the 9 December, Yahya Jammeh rejected the election results, sparking the Gambian constitutional crisis.[9][10] He refused to step down and allow Barrow to accede to the presidency, and demanded to remain in power until new elections could be organized and conducted.[11][12]

Resolution background[edit]

The situation in the Gambia had escalated to crisis proportions, including the displacement of about 46,000 people who had fled the Gambia to neighbouring Senegal and Guinea-Bissau.[13] President-Elect Barrow himself had left for Senegal due to fear for this safety in the Gambia and had not even been able to return for the funeral of his 8-year-old son, who died unexpectedly during this period after being attacked by dogs.[14][15] More than 75% of the displaced people arriving in Senegal were children, accompanied primarily by women.[13]

Earlier on the same day the resolution was passed,[16] Barrow was sworn in as President of Gambia in the Gambian embassy in Dakar, Senegal.[17]

The resolution did not endorse the ECOWAS military intervention in the Gambia, which also occurred on the same day the resolution was passed.[1][2] Rather, it requested ECOWAS to pursue "political means first" in its efforts to resolve the crisis.[1] In earlier proposed drafts, the Council had considered alternative language endorsing ECOWAS in "all necessary measures", which would have been an endorsement for military action.[2] However, some members of the Council, including Egypt, Bolivia, and Russia, had objected to the stronger language.[2] In its press release, the Council said that "A number of speakers ... said the adoption did not imply the Council's endorsement of possible military measures", and specifically mentioned that Egypt and Bolivia had expressed this view.[1]

The resolution followed a previous unanimous United Nations Security Council statement issued on 10 December 2016 that had similarly called on Jammeh to "respect the choice of the sovereign people of The Gambia" and allow Barrow to accede to the presidency.[18][19][20] The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon also released a statement on 10 December expressing dismay at Jammeh's rejection of the results of the election.[21] The Secretary-General had previously commended the peaceful election process in the Gambia, and had congratulated President-elect Adama Barrow on his victory on 2 December 2016.[22]

Passage of the resolution[edit]

The resolution was passed by a vote of 15 supporting, none opposed, and none abstained.[1]


On the same day the resolution was passed, armed forces from the ECOWAS countries of Senegal, Nigeria, and Ghana[23] cooperated to enter the Gambia with ground forces, a naval blockade, and air support in a military intervention to compel Jammeh's departure.[24] The army and navy of the Gambia did not resist,[23] as the navy declared support for Barrow and the army said the matter was political in nature and it would stay neutral.[25][26] After a few hours and only minor clashes with pro-Jammeh MFDC forces near the border village of Kanilai, the home town of Yahya Jammeh, the incursion was halted to allow a final attempt to negotiate the peaceful departure of Jammeh.[27][28] Two days later, on 21 January 2017,[29][30] Jammeh agreed to step down and left the Gambia for exile in Equatorial Guinea.[31][32] There were no reports of casualties. About 4,000 ECOWAS troops remained in the Gambia to establish order in preparation for Barrow to return and consolidate his presidency.[33][34]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Security Endorses Recognition by African Union, Regional States, of Adama Barrow as President-Elect of Gambia, Unanimously Adopting 2337 (2017)". United Nations. 19 January 2017. Retrieved 2017-01-20.
  2. ^ a b c d M. Lederer, Edith (19 January 2017). "UN adopts resolution backing Gambia's new President Barrow". Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-01-20.
  3. ^ Akwei, Ismail (19 January 2017). "Senegalese troops enter The Gambia as UN backs ECOWAS intervention". Africanews. Retrieved 2017-01-20.
  4. ^ "UN unanimously backs Gambia's new president in standoff". Daily Mail. 19 January 2017. Retrieved 2017-01-20.
  5. ^ "Candidate List". Independent Electoral Commission. Archived from the original on 24 December 2016. Retrieved 2017-01-22.
  6. ^ Agencies (1 December 2016). "Gambia 2016: Polls Open In Gambia's Presidential Election". Jollofnews. Retrieved 2017-01-22.
  7. ^ Maclean, Ruth; Graham-Harrison, Emma (2 December 2016). "The Gambia's President Jammeh concedes defeat in election". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-01-22.
  8. ^ Barry, Jaime Yaya; Searcey, Dionne (2 December 2016). "Gambia's President, in Power 22 Years, Loses Election". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-01-22.
  9. ^ Farge, Emma (9 December 2016). "Gambia President Jammeh rejects outcome of Dec. 1 election". Reuters. Retrieved 2017-01-22.
  10. ^ "Gambian president Yahya Jammeh rejects election result". The Guardian. 10 December 2016. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-01-23.
  11. ^ "Gambia's Jammeh rejects result of presidential election". Aljazeera. 10 December 2016. Retrieved 2017-01-23.
  12. ^ "Gambia leader Yahya Jammeh rejects election result". BBC News. 10 December 2016. Retrieved 2017-01-23.
  13. ^ a b Baloch, Babar (20 January 2017). "Senegal: Around 45,000 have fled political uncertainty in The Gambia". United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Retrieved 2017-01-20.
  14. ^ Harthorne, Michael (17 January 2017). "Political Unrest Keeps Gambian President-Elect From Attending Son's Funeral". Newser. Retrieved 2017-01-23.
  15. ^ Frykberg, Mel (17 January 2017). "Gambia's Barrow unable to attend son's funeral". IOL. Retrieved 2017-01-23.
  16. ^ "New Gambia President Adama Barrow takes oath in Senegal". Al Jazeera. 19 January 2017. Retrieved 2017-01-19.
  17. ^ Kuo, Lily; Latif Dahir, Abdi (19 January 2017). "Gambia's new president has been sworn in at an embassy in Senegal because the old one won't leave". Quartz. Retrieved 2017-01-23.
  18. ^ "Gambia President Yahya Jammeh must step down – UN". BBC News. 10 December 2016. Retrieved 2016-12-10.
  19. ^ "Gambia: UN calls on outgoing President to respect election results and to carry out a peaceful transition". United Nations News Centre. 10 December 2016. Retrieved 2017-01-23.
  20. ^ "UN/Gambia". United Nations Audiovisual Library. 12 December 2016. Retrieved 2017-01-23.
  21. ^ "Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the Gambia". Office of the United Nations Secretary-General. 10 December 2016. Retrieved 2017-01-23.
  22. ^ "UN chief commends peaceful polls in Gambia, congratulates President-elect Adama Barrow". United Nations News Centre. 2 December 2016. Retrieved 2017-01-23.
  23. ^ a b "Gambia crisis: Senegal sends in troops to back elected leader". BBC News. 19 January 2017. Retrieved 2017-01-23.
  24. ^ "Military intervention looms as Jammeh clings to power". Aljazeera. 19 January 2017. Retrieved 2017-01-23.
  25. ^ Ogbonna, Anthony (19 January 2017). "Gambian Navy abandons Jammeh, declare allegiance to Barrow". Vanguard News. Retrieved 2017-01-24.
  26. ^ Ewubare, Kess (19 January 2017). "Gambian Navy desert Jammeh, declare allegiance to Barrow". Naij.com. Retrieved 2017-01-24.
  27. ^ Freeman, Colin (20 January 2017). "Gambia crisis: West African nations halt Gambia military operation to give Yahya Jammeh final chance to step down". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2017-01-23.
  28. ^ Cocks, Tim; Farge, Emma (20 January 2017). "West African military halt Gambia operation, issue Jammeh deadline". Reuters UK. Retrieved 2017-01-23.
  29. ^ Searcey, Dionne; Barry, Jaime Yaya (20 January 2017). "Yahya Jammeh Agrees to Step Down, as 45,000 Flee Amid Gambia Standoff". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-01-23.
  30. ^ Freeman, Colin (21 January 2017). "Gambia's Yahya Jammeh agrees to step down peacefully". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2017-01-23.
  31. ^ Cocks, Tim; Jahateh, Lamin (22 January 2017). "Gambia's former leader Jammeh flies into exile in Equatorial Guinea". Reuters UK. Retrieved 2017-01-23.
  32. ^ Stevis, Matina; Steinhauser, Gabriele (22 January 2017). "Gambian Longtime Leader Jammeh Leaves Capital on Guinea President's Plane". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2017-01-23.
  33. ^ Cocks, Tim; Jahateh, Lamin (22 January 2017). "Gambia's former leader Jammeh flies into exile in Equatorial Guinea". Reuters India. Retrieved 2017-01-23.
  34. ^ Ettaba, Selim Saheb; O'Mahony, Jennifer; Offner, Fabien (25 January 2017). "Gambia leader to return home after crisis". Yahoo! News. Retrieved 2017-01-25.

External links[edit]