West African Defence Chiefs Plan Military Intervention To Reverse Niger Coup

10 months agoSat, 05 Aug 2023 09:57:35 GMT
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West African Defence Chiefs Plan Military Intervention To Reverse Niger Coup

West African defence chiefs have formulated a plan for a potential military intervention to reverse the recent coup in Niger. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has decided not to disclose the timing or location of the intervention to the coup plotters. The final decision will be made by the heads of state within the bloc, according to Al Jazeera.

Abdel-Fatau Musah, the ECOWAS commissioner for political affairs, peace, and security, stated that all necessary elements for the intervention, including resources and deployment strategies, have been discussed during a three-day meeting in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja. Musah said:

All the elements that will go into any eventual intervention have been worked out here, including the resources needed, the how and when we are going to deploy the force.

We want diplomacy to work, and we want this message clearly transmitted to them that we are giving them every opportunity to reverse what they have done.

ECOWAS has already imposed sanctions on Niger and has indicated that the use of force could be authorised if the coup leaders fail to restore power to President Mohamed Bazoum by Sunday. A delegation from ECOWAS visited Niger to seek a peaceful resolution, but no breakthrough was achieved during a meeting with the military representatives at the airport. ECOWAS emphasises its preference for a diplomatic solution and hopes to convey the message to the coup leaders that they have an opportunity to reverse their actions.

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Nigerian President Bola Tinubu has instructed the government to prepare various options, including the deployment of military personnel. Senegal has also pledged to send troops. The military rulers in Niger have denounced external interference and expressed their determination to resist.

The coup leader, Abdourahamane Tchiani, aged 59, previously served as a battalion commander for ECOWAS forces during the Ivory Coast conflicts in 2003, providing him with firsthand knowledge of such missions. The support from military leaders in neighbouring Mali and Burkina Faso, both ECOWAS members, could potentially undermine the regional response, as they have pledged to come to Niger’s defence.

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