Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has been given until Midday Friday (Gambian time) by West African leaders to relinquish power before Senegalese troops force-ably remove him from power, as the fall out from the Gambian Presidential election continues.
His legitimacy as President has come into question after he won the election last month.
The Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) has thrown its support behind Adame Barrow who was sworn in as the new President in a ceremony on Thursday.
Barrow has the supported of World leaders as is recongnised as the legitimate President of Gambia.
Jammeh first accepted defeat in the election last month before declaring a 90-day state of emergency in Gambia. He has blamed the electoral commission for mistakes in the election process as the reason for his defeat. He has refused to leave power until a new election is held.
Jammeh is also thought to have stayed in power to protect him against different crimes that he has committed whilst in office.
Last ditch mediation talks are set to be held with Mr Jammeh by Guinea President Alpha Conde. If these talks fail the the Senegalese Military and other West African troops which have already entered into Gambia will use force if necessary.
“If by midday, he [Mr Jammeh] doesn’t agree to leave The Gambia under the banner of President Conde, we really will intervene militarily.” Said Marcel Alain De Souza chairman of the Ecowas.
Meanwhile, elected President Adame Barrow has vowed to stay in Senegal until Mr Jammeh is removed from office. In Mr Barrow’s first message to the Gambian people, he urged soldiers to stay in their barracks and not use any force until the Friday midday deadline has passed. He re-iterated that any peoples taking up arms would be viewed as rebels.
The plan by the Ecowas to remove Jammeh by force has been backed by the 15-member UN Security Council.