Coup: ECOWAS force to invade Niger, say Defence Chiefs

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has secured the backing of the military of 10 of the 15 member states in its efforts to restore democratic government in Republic of Niger.

The 10 countries on Thursday in Ghana expressed readiness to participate in a standby force should the need arises.

The ECOWAS Heads of government in their recent emergency summit asked Defence Chiefs to activate its standby force.

This follows the forceful removal from office the democratically elected president, Mohamed Bazoum on July 26 by the military junta led by General Abdourahamane Tchiani.

All member states except those under military rule and Cape Verde pledged to participate in the standby force, according to an international news agency, Reuters.

ECOWAS commissioner, Abdel-Fatau Musah, was quoted to have said: “Let no one be in doubt if everything else fails, the valiant forces of West Africa…are ready to answer to the call of duty.

“By all means available, constitutional order will be restored in the country,” Musah told assembled defence Chiefs from member countries, listing past ECOWAS deployments in Gambia, and Liberia as examples of readiness.

Al Jazeera alos quoted Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Gwabin Musa, to have said, “Democracy is what we stand for and it’s what we encourage,”

“The focus of our gathering is not simply to react to events, but to proactively chart a course that results in peace and promote stability.”

The presidential guards seized power from President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26, making the ECOWAS to issue a one-week ultimatum to the military to restore the president or risk sanctions.

The military ignored the ECOWAS threats and vowed to resist foreign intervention.


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