Senegalese troops heading into Gambia

(JollofNews) – West African nations have halted their military operation in the Gambia aimed at toppling the  regime of President Yahya Jammeh in  favour of mediation, report says.

According to reports monitored on France 24 Television, regional leaders have given Mr Jammeh a final chance to step down peacefully by midday on Friday of face being removed forceful.

A delegation of West African leaders – including the presidents of Liberia, Mauritania and Guinea – are due to arrive in Gambia on Friday as part of a mediation mission.

There has been no immediate response from Mr Jammeh.

Mr Jammeh’s whose term expired on Wednesday after a surprised defeat in last month’s election, has earlier refused calls to step down. He declared a state of emergency on the penultimate day of his term and also used his party dominated parliament to extend his mandate for 90 days.

His successor, Adama Barrow, was sworn-in on Thursday as the Gambia’s third president at a ceremony held at the Gambian embassy in Senegal’s capital, Dakar, which was attended by western and African dignitaries.

Shortly after the ceremony he have his blessings for the Senegal led troops to entered Banjul. The troops have warned Mr Jammeh that they are ready to topple his regime militarily if refuses to step down gracefully.

Meanwhile, the UN Security Council on Thursday unanimously backed regional efforts to ensure a handover of power in the Gambia, throwing its full weight behind Mr Barrow.