ECOWAS force ready to intervene in Niger

Troops of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, have announced their readiness to participate in a standby force that could intervene in the upheaval in the Republic of Niger.

Credible News recalls that after the junta seized power from President Mohamed Bazoum, ECOWAS issued a seven-day ultimatum to the military to restore the President or risk sanctions, including possible military action.

ECOWAS defence chiefs, at their meeting which began in Ghana’s capital, Accra on Thursday, reiterated that they are prepared to reinstate the democratic order in Niger.

The Accra meeting of top army commanders on Thursday and Friday came after fresh violence in Niger, with jihadists killing at least 17 soldiers in an ambush, the defence ministry said.

Twenty more soldiers were wounded, six seriously, in the heaviest losses since the July 26 coup, when the presidential guard ousted Bazoum and detained him and his family.

Jihadist insurgencies have gripped Africa’s Sahel region for more than a decade, breaking out in northern Mali in 2012 before spreading to neighbouring Niger and Burkina Faso in 2015.

The unrest across the region has killed thousands of troops, police officers and civilians, and forced millions to flee their homes.

Anger at the bloodshed has fuelled military coups in Mali and Burkina Faso since 2020, with Niger the latest to fall.

Analysts say any ECOWAS intervention against Niger’s coup leaders would be militarily and politically risky, and the bloc has said it prefers a diplomatic outcome.

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