Gambia’s former Vice President Isatou Njie-Saidy has joined two West African leaders at the State House to convince President Yahya Jammeh to cede power and leave the country.
The 1600hrs GMT deadline for Jammeh to exit has elapsed as efforts to persuade Mr. Jammeh to accept defeat yield no progress so far.
Jammeh announced late Thursday that he has dissolved his cabinet and will be announcing a new government, signs he is unwilling to hand over executive power peacefully.
The Gambia’s military is divided over Jammeh grab on power. He is backed by top officers of the Republican National Guard, which includes his elite presidential guard, a counterterrorism unit, and a special force.
His backers with reported hired mercenaries, however, do not have the military might to withstand West African troops authorized by his rival President Adama Barrow to depose him.
A top ranking general within Jammeh’s presidential guard assured Gambians of continued peace.
Gambia’s military chief whose flip-flopping has put the army’s loyalty to President Barrow in question was seen celebrating with a few hundred people in a suburb outside the capital.