Ghana has deployed troops to support efforts by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to enforce the mandate of that county’s Dec 1, 2016 elections which has resulted in a defiant President Yahya Jammeh refusing to cede power despite losing at the polls.

A statement issued by the Office of the President here says President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has approved and authorised the deployment of a combat team, backed by appropriate logistical equipment, to the Islamic Republic of The Gambia as part of the ECOWAS Mission in that country.

ECOWAS decided following the refusal of President Yahaya Jammeh to accept the verdict of the Gambian people in the Dec 1, 2016, elections to deploy troops from its member States to Gambia with immediate effect.

The objective is to create an enabling environment for the effective enforcement of the rule of law, and, in accordance with the Constitution of Gambia, facilitate the inauguration of President-elect Adama Barrow on Thursday.

Jammeh, whose tenure ended on the night of Wednesday, has remained defiant, refusing to transfer power, until the country’s Supreme Court hears his petition challenging the results of the elections which he had initially accepted.

The Supreme Court has indicated that it does not have the quorum of judges needed to hear the matter, and that the hearing would have to wait till May.

The country’s Parliament Wednesday voted to extend Jammeh’s term of office and have also approved a 90-day state of emergency.

The ECOWAS military mission is expected to be led by Senegal, Gambia’s immediate neighbour. Already, Senegalese troops have massed at the country’s border with the Gambia, waiting for the green light from the regional body to go into Gambia to enforce the people’s mandate.

Nigeria has also deployed fighter planes and troops for the mission.

In a related development, the Vice President of Gambia, Madam Isatou Njie Saidy has resigned. Some other top go government functionaries have also resigned in the past few days.

Ghana News Agency was informed by ECOWAS sources that General Francis Njie of the Senegalese Army will lead the ECOWAS military intervention in Gambia. The decision was taken at a closed-door meeting held in Dakar Wednesday.

General Njie will lead a force made up of 860 Nigerian troops, 500 Senegalese infantry and 60 commandos, as well as the Ghanaian contingent to capture Jammeh.

The sources also disclosed that Mauritania had offered to fly Jammeh out of Gambia immediately.