The Defense Chiefs of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have affirmed their preparedness to reinstate democratic governance in the Niger Republic.
Troops from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have announced their readiness to participate in the standby force, which could intervene to resolve the political deadlock in the Niger Republic.
This decision stems from the persistent refusal of the military junta led by General Abdourahmane Tchiani to reinstate the democratically elected President of Niger, Mohamed Bazoum, who was removed from power by the presidential guard on July 26. In response, ECOWAS issued an ultimatum to the coup leaders, demanding the restoration of the President or else face potential sanctions, including the option of military intervention.
Despite pressure and economic sanctions imposed by the regional body and other international stakeholders, the Niger military leadership remains unyielding in their stance. They have rejected peaceful attempts at resolution and expressed their determination to resist any military interference from ECOWAS or foreign entities.
As a result, the regional coalition called upon its Defense Chiefs from member nations, with the exception of those under military rule and Cape Verde, to activate their standby force for a potential deployment in Niger.
During a meeting held in Accra, the capital of Ghana, on August 17, 2023, the Defense Chiefs of ECOWAS revealed their willingness to deploy troops to Niger to reinstate civilian rule. According to ECOWAS Commissioner Abdel-Fatau Musah, this decision garnered support from all member states except those under military rule and Cape Verde.
Musah emphasized, “In the event that all other avenues prove futile, the courageous forces of West Africa are fully prepared to fulfill their duty. Through all available means, the constitutional order will be reestablished within the country.”
Quoting Nigeria’s Chief of Defense Staff, General Christopher Gwabin Musa, Al Jazeera reported, “Our commitment lies with democracy, which we uphold and encourage. Our meeting’s purpose is not merely reactionary; rather, it aims to proactively devise a strategy that culminates in peace and the advancement of stability.”
Both Burkina Faso and Mali, two West African nations that have witnessed multiple coups since 2020, have cautioned ECOWAS that any military intervention in Niger would be construed as an act of war.