Gambian army chief, Ousman Badjie, has said his troops would not fight Senegalese forces should they enter into the country even as The Gambian leader stubbornly refuse to vacate office.
According to an AFP report, the Army chief said, “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.”
The president-elect, Adama Barrow, who beat the incumbent, Yayha Jammeh, 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.
“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.