The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union had given President Yahya Jammeh up until January 19 to completely concede defeat and leave room for the inauguration of President-Elect Adama Barrow.

To enforce the decision, ECOWAS has mobilised troops under an operation named ECOWAS Military Intervention in Gambia (ECOMIG) presently stationed in Senegal and with Forces contribution from Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal and other countries

The UN Security Council is scheduled to meet Thursday to adopt a statement on West Africa that will reaffirm the demand for Jammeh to hand over power, diplomats said. “If a political solution fails, we will engage” in operations in The Gambia, Senegal army spokesman Colonel Abdou Ndiaye said  ahead of the deadline.

Jammeh’s army chief said his troops would not fight their entry into the country, as the Mauritanian president flew out of The Gambia following hopes of a last-minute deal to convince Jammeh to hand over power.

“We are not going to involve ourselves militarily. This is a political dispute,” Chief of Defence Staff Ousman Badjie said “I am not going to involve my soldiers in a stupid fight. I love my men,” he added. “If they (Senegalese) come in, we are here like this,” Badjie said, making a hands up or surrender gesture.