Following news that Senegalese troops are close to the Gambian border in a show of force, many are wondering why Senegal is taking the lead in the fight to see President Jammeh step down.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) mandated Senegal to spearhead military intervention because Senegal almost surrounds The Gambia.
However, the intervention is only as a last resort and with the backing of the UN Security Council.
“We are ready and are awaiting the deadline at midnight,” Col Abdou Ndiaye, a spokesman for the Senegalese military, was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.
“If no political solution is found, we will step in.”
The Gambia’s entire armed forces are made up of only about 2,500 troops, making it difficult to see how they can defeat a regional force if it moves in, says BBC Africa Monitoring security correspondent Tomi Oladipo.
Nigeria says it sent fighters and other aircraft, along with 200 personnel, to Senegal on Wednesday morning.
Nigerian navy vessels are also on standby and a warship that sailed from Lagos on Tuesday will have the task of evacuating Nigerian citizens while putting on a show of force.
Ground troops are also being provided by Ghana, BBC said.