Jammeh refuses to leave office as deadline passes

Jammeh refuses to leave office as deadline passes

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh is refusing to step down despite the threat of military intervention by neighbouring states.

Jammeh refuses to leave office as deadline passes

Jammeh refuses to leave office as deadline passes

Adama Barrow, who beat him in elections last month, is due to be inaugurated as the new president on Thursday, but Mr Jammeh has ignored the deadline.

West African military forces are ready to enforce a transfer of power.

Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz failed to break the deadlock at last-minute talks with Mr Jammeh.

Mr Abdel Aziz flew in to the Gambian capital Banjul on Wednesday evening to meet Mr Jammeh before flying on to Dakar airport for further discussions with Mr Barrow and Senegal's President Macky Sall.

READ ALSO: Ghana sends troops to aid combat Jammeh in Gambia

"I am now less pessimistic [that Mr Jammeh] will work on a peaceful solution that is in the best interest for everyone," Mr Abdel Aziz said.

Senegalese troops remain stationed at the Gambian border, despite the deadline for Mr Jammeh to stand down passing at midnight.

The threat of military action is supported by Nigeria and other states in the region.

However Gambian army chief Ousman Badjie said his troops would not fight Senegalese forces should they enter into the country, AFP news agency reports.

"We are not going to involve ourselves militarily, this is a political dispute," he said. "I am not going to involve my soldiers in a stupid fight. I love my men."

READ ALSO: PHOTOS: Ex-president John Mahama joins Otumfuo Osei Tutu to mourn late Asantehemaa

Mr Jammeh has ruled The Gambia since taking power in a coup in 1994.

Wednesday was meant to be his last day in office but parliament granted him three more months in the post.

Mr Barrow, who was said to be preparing to be sworn in as president "on Gambian soil" on Thursday, remains in neighbouring Senegal.

At least 26,000 Gambians, fearful that violence could erupt, sought refuge in Senegal this week.

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