West African bloc ECOWAS said its leaders would meet on Thursday on the crisis in Niger, whose military rulers have defied its ultimatum to cede power or face possible military action.
“ECOWAS heads of state (will) hold another extraordinary summit on the political situation in the Republic of Niger,” the 15-member bloc said in its first official reaction after Niger ignored Sunday’s deadline to reinstate democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum.
The summit is to be held in Abuja, Nigeria, whose president Bola Tinubu is the current ECOWAS chairman.
Earlier on Monday, an ECOWAS source said West African nations were not envisaging an immediate military intervention at this stage.
Italy and Germany called for a diplomatic solution in the troubled Sahel nation.
Neighbouring Mali said it and Burkina Faso — which have both been suspended from ECOWAS over their own military coups — were sending a joint official delegation to Niamey to show “solidarity (with) the people of Niger”.
They have said military intervention would be tantamount to a declaration of war.