The head of Gambia’s army has given his full backing to the country’s president, Yahya Jammeh, amid a deepening political crisis.
Mr Jammeh suffered a surprise electoral defeat last month to Adama Barrow.
He initially accepted the result but changed his mind days later, citing electoral “abnormalities”.
In a letter to the pro-government newspaper, Gen Ousman Badjie pledged the “unflinching loyalty and support of the Gambia Armed Forces” to Mr Jammeh.
Gen Badjie’s intervention follows the threat of military action by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) if Mr Jammeh refuses to leave office on 19 January.
President Jammeh has said any such intervention would constitute an act of war.
Mr Barrow’s team had previously claimed the support of Gen Badjie. The army’s support is seen as critical in building a transition after Mr Jammeh’s 22 years in power.