Cape Town - The Democratic Alliance on Wednesday asked the government to summon Gambia's ambassador to SA over that country’s president's attempt to stay in power "at all costs".
Gambia has been in a state of emergency since December 1, after President Yahya Jammeh lost an election and then decided not to step down.
DA international relations spokesperson Stevens Mokgalapa said in a statement that International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane should oppose Jammeh's "dictatorial conduct".
"Nkoana-Mashabane should make it clear that the South African government and its people are completely opposed to this dictatorial conduct," Mokgalapa said.
"It’s time to show that we are serious about democracy, human rights and peace on the African continent and elsewhere.
"Summoning the Gambian ambassador will be a welcomed first step in achieving this."
Department of International Relations spokesperson Clayson Monyela said the request by the DA was premature.
"The DA needs to be reminded that the AU (African Union) is working in Gambia to try and mediate to find a solution," he said.
"The idea to recall an ambassador while mediation is underway is premature."
News24 reported on Wednesday that evacuations of tourists had begun in Gambia.