West African army chiefs met in Abuja, Nigeria at the weekend in preparation for a possible military intervention in The Gambia.
President Yahya Jammeh’s tenure ends on Wednesday but he has refused to quit power despite efforts by the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) leaders to persuade him to step down.
Two missions to Banjul, led by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who is leading the ECOWAS mediation team, failed to convince Jammeh to respect the December 1 election outcome.
President-elect Adama Barrow is in Senegal until his planned inauguration on Thursday.
The ECOWAS military chiefs’ meeting, is part of efforts by the regional bloc to force President Jammeh, in power for 22 years, out should such a need arise.
Nigerian chief of defence staff Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin expressed the readiness of regional leaders and military commanders to continue the pursuit of dialogue to end the political impasse.
However, ECOWAS has said it will not rule out the use of force as a last resort.
No communique was issued at the end of the military chiefs’ meeting.
The United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel said Friday, ECOWAS would ask the United Nations Security Council to approve troops deployment in The Gambia.
The African Union has also said it will no longer recognize President Jammeh as head of state as of January 19.