West African leaders gave Yahya Jammeh, who lost elections last month, until midday on Friday to hand over power and agree to leave The Gambia or face military action carried out by the regional bloc ECOWAS.

Later however, Jammeh requested a four-extension until 4pm local time to cede, government sources said, according to the Reuters news agency.

The leaders of Guinea and Mauritania headed for The Gambia on Friday for talks with Jammeh.