The whereabouts of the outgoing President of The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh was unknown as at Thursday.
This was just as last-minute attempts by Mauritanian President, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, to convince Jammeh to give up the presidency, failed.
There are indications he may have gone into hiding in a bid to escape being further persuaded into conceding defeat after he earlier devised a means of extending his stay, by declaring a 90-day State of Emergency.
”He has probably gone into hiding to stop further negotiation,” A Gambian journalist who pleaded his identity be protected told DAILY POST.
Recall that the embattled president’s tenure ended Wednesday midnight, although, he has insisted he won’t step down, despite losing the December 1 election.
But President-elect, Adama Barrow, had vowed to go ahead with his inauguration on Thursday, and ECOWAS, the regional bloc, had vowed to use military force if necessary to remove resolute Jammeh.
Troops from Senegal, Nigeria and Ghana on Thursday remained in position in Senegal in case a military intervention becomes necessary.
An ECOMOG military Commander, Maiga Mboro told AP, “All the troops are already in place and some not far from the Gambian border.
“Already 11 pilots, 11 crew members and 80 supporting troops have been deployed close to the Gambian border.”
Meanwhile, the president-elect, who is awaiting his swearing-in today, affirmed that Jammeh’s tenure was “officially over”.
Winner of December vote inaugurated in Senegal while longtime ruler refuses to cede power, deepening a political crisis.
Gambian President Adama Barrow has taken the oath of office in neighbouring Senegal, while the country’s defeated longtime ruler refuses to step down from power, deepening a political crisis.
Barrow was inaugurated on Thursday in a hastily-arranged ceremony at Gambia’s embassy in the Senegalese capital, Dakar.
“This is a day no Gambian will ever forget in a lifetime,” Barrow said in a speech immediately after being sworn in.
The small embassy room held about 40 people, including Senegal’s prime minister and the head of Gambia’s electoral commission.
Also at the event were officials from West Africa’s regional bloc, ECOWAS, which is threatening to invade Gambia to force outgoing president Yahya Jammeh, who lost a December 1 election, to step down.
The UN Security Council was set to vote later on Thursday on a draft resolution endorsing a military intervention by ECOWAS members to remove Jammeh.