The Gambia's President-elect Adama Barrow, currently in Senegal, is preparing to be sworn in at the Gambian embassy in Dakar in spite of the fact outgoing leader Yahya Jammeh is not relinquishing power. Gambia is facing a military invasion after Jammeh, in power since 1994, did not leave office when his term expired at midnight on 18 January.

Barrow told IBTimes UK he considered himself the "rightful leader" of the country and was confident the issue could be resolved peacefully.

However, the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) has mandated Senegal, which engulfs Gambia, to lead a military intervention in the West African nation.

Senegalese and Nigerian troops are now stationed on the Gambian border and are ready to enter the country to install Barrow, who defeated Jammeh in presidential election held in December 2016.

"If no political solution is found, we will step in," Col Abdou Ndiaye, a spokesman for the Senegalese military, was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.

A spokesperson for the Nigerian army told IBTimes UK: "Nigeria has dispatched military fighter jets already to Senegal in preparation for Gambia operation."

It is not yet clear what will happen in the country, where Jammeh declared a state of emergency on 17 January. The same day, the Gambian parliament passed a motion allowing Jammeh to stay in power for the next three months, something some have deemed as an "unconstitutional move".

At least 26,000 Gambians have fled into Senegal, as they fear the ongoing political crisis might escalate into violence.

Thousands of holidaymakers, mainly from UK and the Netherlands, and are being evacuated. Travel agency Thomas Cook hopes to have brought home approximately 3,500 passengers on 16 flights by the end of Friday (20 January).

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) is advising against all but essential travel to Gambia.

Both Nigeria and Morocco have offered Jammeh asylum as long has he steps down, but the entreched leader wants to stay in office until the Supreme Court hears his petition on what he claims are "unacceptable abnormalities" occurred in the elction.

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 would 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).

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari led a delegation of West African leaders to Gambia twice to persuade Jammeh to step down and respect the election outcome.

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

However, Badjie told AFP on 18 January that his troops would not fight Senegalese forces. "We are not going to involve ourselves militarily, this is a political dispute," he said. "I am not going to involve my soldiers in a stupid fight. I love my men."