ECOWAS Gears Up for Potential Military Intervention in Niger Amid Political Turmoil

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is poised to address the ongoing political crisis in Niger, with the Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Abdel-Fatau Musah, affirming the community’s commitment to intervene using its own resources. The statement was made during the 48th Extraordinary Meeting of the ECOWAS Committee of Chiefs of Defence Staff (CDS) convened in Accra.

In the wake of a military junta’s takeover and detention of President Mohamed Bazoum and key officials, ECOWAS leaders are considering possible actions, including military intervention under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter. The Charter grants the UN Security Council authority to take measures to restore international peace and security.

The meeting in Accra, spanning two days, aims to devise a strategic plan for a potential intervention in Niger. General Christopher Gwabin Musa, Chief of Defence Staff of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, expressed resolve and emphasized the significance of regional stability and democracy. He stressed the need to protect the integrity of ECOWAS member states and safeguard the rights of their citizens.

The crisis in Niger marks the fifth instance of a coup d’├ętat in the West African sub-region in just over three years, following upheavals in Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea, and Guinea-Bissau. ECOWAS has recently activated a standby force as part of its preparedness to address such situations.

The political unrest has prompted ECOWAS to call upon its standby force to restore constitutional order in Niger. President Omar Alieu Touray of ECOWAS has urged the African Union, partner countries, and international institutions to support the sub-regional body’s resolution. Diplomatic efforts to engage with the Niger military junta have so far proven unsuccessful, leading to concerns over the continued detention of President Bazoum and his family.

As ECOWAS leaders deliberate on a path forward, the regional community remains resolute in its aim to restore democracy and sovereignty to Niger, emphasizing unity and commitment to preserving peace and stability in the region.

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