Gambia's state television has reported that the National Assembly adopted a resolution to allow outgoing President Yahya Jammeh to remain in power for three months, PA news agency claimed. Jammeh, who lost presidential election in December 2016, is due to step down on 18 January at midnight.

President-elect Adama Barrow, who is currently in Senegal, is due to be sworn in on 19 January. He told IBTimes UK he considered himself the "rightful leader" of the country.

It is not yet clear what will happen in the country, where Jammeh declared a state of emergency on 17 January.

The outgoing leader, who took power following a bloodless coup in 1994, initially conceded defeat. However, he now intends to contest the election result at the Supreme Court due to what he claims are "unacceptable abnormalities".

The apex court said it could only hear Jammeh's case about the election in May or even November,due to a lack of judges available to hear the case.

The Chief Justice decided he will not rule on an injunction seeking to stop Barrow's inauguration. The injunction was filed by the ruling party Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC).

Is a military intervention likely in Gambia?

Jammeh's U-turn has sent shock waves across Gambia and the region, with growing tensions exacerbated by the chief of army's decision to pledge loyalty to Jammeh instead of Barrow.

A delegation of West African leaders, led by Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari, has failed to persuade Jammeh to step down.

Nigeria's House of Representatives approved a motion, not binding on the government, to grant asylum to Jammeh as long as he steps down when his term expires.

Nigerian soldiers and the country' s warship NNS UNITY are travelling to Senegal as Nigeria and other countries in the region are preparing a joint force for a military intervention in Gambia.

In December, Marcel Alain de Souza, the chairman of the Economic Community Of West African States (Ecowas), claimed that a military intervention to remove Jammeh was "possible" and that "stand-by forces" – likely led by Senegal – were on alert and would be deployed "to restore the people's wish".

Meanwhile, reports warned Gambians were fleeing to neighbouring nations, fearing the country's political impasse will escalate into violence.

Travel agent Thomas Cook is planning to bring home an estimated 985 customers from Gambia after the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) warned against travel to the west African nation.