ECOWAS Mulling ‘Imminent Military Intervention’ In Niger, Junta Claims

The African Union has given the military in Niger two weeks to restore "constitutional authority".


General Abdourahamane Tchiani
This video frame grab image obtained by AFP from ORTN – Télé Sahel on July 28, 2023 shows General Abdourahamane Tchiani, Niger’s new strongman, speaking on national television and reads a statement as “President of the National Council for the Safeguarding of the Fatherland”, after the ouster of President-elect Mohamed Bazoum. (Photo by ORTN – Télé Sahel / AFP)

 

The leaders of the military coup in Niger claim that regional body ECOWAS could stage an imminent military intervention in the capital of the Sahel country.

The regional body met over the weekend to map out strategies to address the crisis in the West African nation.

But before the crisis summit in Niger, the junta claimed the regional body’s aim of convening the meeting is to deploy military aggression against the country.

“The aim of this meeting is to approve a plan of aggression against Niger, in the form of an imminent military intervention in Niamey, in cooperation with African countries who are not members of the regional body and certain Western nations,” it said Saturday.

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Already, the African Union has given the military in Niger two weeks to restore “constitutional authority”.

It condemned the coup in “the strongest terms possible” and expressed deep concern over the “alarming resurgence” of military overthrows in Africa.

The United States — which has about 1,000 troops in Niger — has offered Bazoum Washington’s steadfast support and warned those detaining him that they were “threatening years of successful cooperation and hundreds of millions of dollars of assistance”.

Landlocked Niger often ranks last in the United Nations’ Human Development Index, despite vast deposits of uranium.

It has had a turbulent political history since gaining independence in 1960, with four coups as well as numerous other attempts — including two previously against Bazoum.

AFP