ECOWAS reaffirms readiness for military intervention in Niger

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West African bloc ECOWAS has reaffirmed that it is ready to intervene militarily in Niger.  The region’s army chiefs have been meeting in Ghana to discuss the details of a standby force, but there are signs that any military intervention will be met with stiff opposition in Niamey.

It’s a delicate process as the West African top generals want to restore a democratic system in Niger.

They have accused the Junta that deposed President Mohamed Bazoum of playing cat and mouse with the bloc.

Coup plotters have refused to meet with ECOWAS envoys and they want to justify the military takeover.

ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs Abdel Fatau Wusah says, “What they forget is that ECOWAS is a rules-based organisation. We have our protocols, we have our norms and we are ready to protect them.
That’s why the Heads of State are saying if push comes to shove we are going into Niger with our own contingent… We are going with our own resources and to make sure we restore constitutional order.”

ECOWAS military chiefs meet over Niger:

Niger’s coup plotters are still detaining Bazoum and have threatened to prosecute him for high treason, a move that has been widely denounced by the international community.

The United States says it will continue to engage.

Principal Deputy Spokesperson of the US State Department Vedant Patel says, “It’s a signal of the United States’ continued engagement in this situation. It’s not a signal of any change in US policy as it relates to the circumstances in Niger. We have been quite clear of what we want to see – President Mohamed Bazoum and his family released. We want to see the constitutional order in Niger respected. That was the case this whole time and that will be the case whenever ambassador Fitz Gibbons gets to Niamey as well.”

Western powers and democratic African governments have called for coup leaders to reinstate ousted President Bazoum, who has been detained since July 26, but military leaders have refused attempts to negotiate.

Niger military says it will prosecute ousted President Mohamed Bazoum for treason: