Banjul - The Latest on Gambia's political crisis, sparked by defeated leader Yahya Jammeh's refusal to leave office (all times local):17:40 Red carpets have been laid out at the airport in Gambia's capital in what appears to be preparations for a speech and a departure.West African leaders have been meeting with defeated leader Yahya Jammeh in an effort to persuade him to cede power to newly inaugurated leader Adama Barrow. A regional force is poised to push him out if talks fail.The red carpets are laid out for a wooden podium and for the Mauritanian plane that brought the leaders to Banjul.17:30Gambia's newly inaugurated leader has prayed for peace in the country he has yet to return to.The Twitter account run by supporters of Adama Barrow posted a photo Friday evening of Barrow praying with Senegal President Macky Sall."We prayed for peace in Gambia," the tweet says.Barrow was sworn in Thursday at Gambia's embassy in neighboring Senegal, where he has been for several days amid fears for his safety.17:15More African nations are recognizing Gambia's newly inaugurated leader.South Africa says it recognizes Adama Barrow as the legitimate president of Gambia and "looks forward to a close working relationship with him and the people of The Gambia."The statement from South Africa's foreign affairs department also "urges former President Yahya Jammeh to cooperate with ECOWAS, and should step down peacefully."It says it hopes Barrow "returns to his country to assume the role democratically bestowed on him by the people of The Gambia." Barrow is in neighboring Senegal, where he was inaugurated Thursday.16:50Gambia's chief of defense forces has pledged his allegiance to the country's new president Friday, a major shift as mediation continued to persuade defeated Yahya Jammeh to cede power.Ousmane Badjie told The Associated Press the country's security services all support the newly inaugurated Adama Barrow and said they would not fight a regional force that is poised to push out Jammeh if the current negotiations talks fail.