Ecowas announced late on Thursday that it would halt its military operation to give a final chance to mediation efforts for former Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh to peacefully cede power.
The Presidents of Guinea, Mauritania, and Liberia are expected to arrive in Gambia on Friday as part of a final mediation mission.
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari said he had made a final decision already and given orders to troops that were authorized by Gambia’s President Adama Barrow to depose Jammeh.
West African leaders said they will not allow Jammeh to remain in the country and would resume their military offensive if he refuses to leave or try to stall again.
Gambia’s ruling coalition is hopeful that Jammeh may change his defiant position upon seeing ECOMIG troops and a dwindling support within the Gambia’s army.
Yahya Jammeh has been accused of abusing human rights and rights groups bent on making sure Barrow keeps his big promises to free political prisoners, remove repressive laws and bring Gambia back to the International Criminal Court.