Gambias security forces have taken over the country's electoral commission, according to reports. Security also barred employees from entering the commission building , the chairman of the electoral commission Alieu Momar Njei told reporters.

He was quoted by Reuters as saying the army instructed him to leave his office. "The military came to my office and said I am not to touch anything and told me to leave. I am worried for my safety," he said.

The army general declared his alliance to outgoing president Yayha Jammeh, who is refusing to step down following presidential election.

Jammeh, who has been in power since 1994, lost to Adama Barrow of the United Democratic Party (UDP) opposition party during the presidential election held on 1 December.

Jammeh originally conceded defeat, but he later claimed he intended to contest the outcome of the vote at the Supreme Court due to "unacceptable abnormalities".

Both the Gambia's opposition coalition and President-elect Barrow have urged Jammeh to step down and accept the election result.

Jammeh's U-turn has created a climate of fear in Gambia, where people widely celebrated Barrow's election hoping it could end decades of alleged persecutions and human rights abuses.

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari and three other West African leaders arrived in Gambia on 13 December to persuade Jammeh to accept election defeat.