March 3, 2024

Niger: ECOWAS security chiefs reach decision on proposed military intervention

The ECOWAS has announced that it has decided on a specific time frame for a possible military action to restore a civilian rule in Niger if diplomatic attempts fail, emphasizing that it would not engage in continuous negotiation with the recalcitrant junta.

The regional power disclosed this after a two-day meeting of West African army chiefs in Ghana’s capital Accra, where they discussed logistics and strategy for a possible use of force in Niger.

According to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), a peaceful resolution remained the bloc’s preferred option while stressing that the use of force to dislodge the coup leaders would be a last option.

ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security Abdel-Fatau Musah said during the closing ceremony that the military chiefs have already agreed and fine-tuned what will be required for the intervention in Niger but declined to share how many troops would be deployed and other strategic details.

“We are ready to go anytime the order is given,” Abdel-Fatau Musah said during the closing ceremony. “The D-Day is also decided, which we are not going to disclose.”

“As we speak we are still readying (a) mediation mission into the country, so we have not shut any door… (but) we are not going to engage in endless dialogue.”

The bloc has been leading the campaign against the Niger coup more than it did in previous ones.

The credibility of the ECOWAS is at stake having pledged its zero tolerance for any further such overthrows.

Military commanders removed Nigerien President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26 and have ignored requests from the UN, ECOWAS, and others to reinstate him, forcing the group to call for the formation of a standby force.

Mohamed Bazoum and his family are still under detention.

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