STILL AROUND: Embattled Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh

The deadline for embattled Gambian leader Yahaya Jammeh to relinquish power has been extended, media sources indicate.

Jammeh, who has been holding day-long talks with Presidents Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz and Alpha Conde of Mauritania and Guinea, had been given up to midday today to relinquish power to president-elect Adama Barrow, who was sworn in yesterday in at the Gambian embassy in the Senegalese capital, Dakar.

Long-serving ruler Jammeh, 51, initially accepted defeat to Barrow following the December 1 elections but later rejected the result and by early today regional body ECOWAS, acting with the support of the UN, had threatened to force Jammeh out but the combined forces were asked to halt advance until the deadline is over.

Late yesterday Senegalese army spokesman, Col Abdou Ndiaye, said that troops who were now in The Gambia were prepared to fight if necessary.

“It is already war, if we find any resistance, we will fight it,” he said, adding: “If there are people who are fighting for the former president, we will fight them,” he said.