The whereabouts of the outgoing President of The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh was unknown as at Thursday.
This was just as last-minute attempts by Mauritanian President, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, to convince Jammeh to give up the presidency, failed.
There are indications that he may have gone into hiding in a bid to escape being further persuaded into conceding defeat after he earlier devised a means of extending his stay by declaring a 90-day State of Emergency.
”He has probably gone into hiding to stop further negotiations,” a Gambian journalist who pleaded his identity be protected, said.
Recall that the embattled president’s tenure ended Wednesday midnight, although, he has insisted he won’t step down, despite losing the December 1 election.
But President-elect, Adama Barrow, had vowed to go ahead with his inauguration on Thursday, and ECOWAS, the regional bloc, had vowed to use military force if necessary to remove resolute Jammeh.
Troops from Senegal, Nigeria and Ghana on Thursday remained in position in Senegal in case a military intervention becomes necessary.
An ECOMOG military Commander, Maiga Mboro told AP, “All the troops are already in place and some not far from the Gambian border.
“Already 11 pilots, 11 crew members and 80 supporting troops have been deployed close to the Gambian border.”
Meanwhile, the president-elect, who is awaiting his swearing-in today, affirmed that Jammeh’s tenure was “officially over”.