ECOWAS Declares Readiness For Military Action Against Niger Coup Leaders

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Most member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) except Cape Verde and countries under military rule have affirmed their readiness to participate in a military intervention in Niger coup leaders.

This was disclosed on Thursday as the defence chiefs from the 15-member regional bloc met in Accra, the capital of Ghana as part of the latest efforts to retrieve power from the Niger junta and reinstate ousted President Mohamed Bazoum, who was deposed in a July 26 coup and held hostage.

Al Jazeera reports that ECOWAS commissioner Abdel-Fatau Musah said on Thursday that all its member states except those under military rule and Cape Verde have confirmed that they are ready to participate in the standby force to take action in Niger.

At the start of the two-day meeting in Accra, Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Gwabin Musa, was quoted as saying, “Democracy is what we stand for and it’s what we encourage.”

“The focus of our gathering is not simply to react to events but to proactively chart a course that results in peace and promotes stability,” he added.

The one-week deadline ECOWAS gave to the Niger junta to return constitutional power to President Bazoum expired on August 6. Meanwhile, the coup leaders have refused to adhere to the ECOWAS ultimatum despite harsh sanctions.

President Bazoum has also remained hostage with his wife and son in Niamey, the country’s capital.

Burkina Faso and Mali, which have been under military rule since 2020, have warned ECOWAS led by Nigerian President Bola Tinubu against military intervention in Niger, saying that any military intervention in Niger would be declared as an act of war across West Africa.

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Also, Guinea, which is also under military power, had warned against any external military action in Niger.

The African Union’s Peace and Security Council met on Monday to deliberate on whether it would support military action in Niger but the union has not made its decision public.

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