UN: Preventive diplomacy in Gambia avoided bloodshed

AP News
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Posted: Jan 23, 2017 4:15 PM

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations says preventive diplomacy in Gambia avoided bloodshed, restored democracy and averted what it calls a "humanitarian disaster."

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric tells reporters that the unity of the West African regional bloc ECOWAS, with U.N. backing, was "critical" to Yahya Jammeh's handover of power to President Adama Barrow.

Dujarric said Monday that if diplomacy had not worked, "we would have seen a far worse situation."

U.N. humanitarian official Toby Lanzer said 45,000 Gambians who fled to Senegal and 7,000 to Guinea-Bissau last week are now returning home.

He added that the aid community was relieved that there was not yet another crisis.