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ECOWAS Army Chiefs to Meet in Ghana over Niger Coup

Military chiefs from West African countries in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) regional bloc to meet at Accra in Ghana. At least 11 countries of the bloc’s 15 member state back a military deployment move to reinstate Mohammed Bazoum.

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ECOWAS
Ghana’s President, ECOWAS Commission President and Ivory Coast’s President attend the ECOWAS summit to discuss the transitional roadmap for Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea, in Accra, Ghana, July 3, 2022.File/ VOA news

Mohammed Bazoum is the democratically elected president of Niger but was ousted by a military coup in the country. The coup leaders termed ‘Junta’ have taken control of the country and denied any military intervention from ECOWAS.

The meeting will happen on Thursday and Friday and is set to discuss the deployment of a force on standby for possible military intervention. The intervention is aimed at restoring democracy in Niger by reinstating Mohammed Bazoum. This comes after the country has failed to respond to the diplomatic efforts enforced by the regional bloc.

Ghana however recently released a post on their stance against the military intervention of ECOWAS in Niger.

Read Also: Army General Declares Himself Leader After Coup in Niger

Military Intervention in Niger

Within the regional bloc, three member states are however against military intervention in the country. These countries include Mali, Burkina Faso, and Guinea who are currently in support of the Junta.

Niger offered a response to the coup by warning that they would defend themselves at all costs if ECOWAS decides to invade the country through military intervention.

In Ghana, the countries will settle on the number of troops to send, the resources that would be needed for deployment and an operating standard procedure for the combat troops.

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In previous occurrences, Nigeria and Ghana have led interventions under the umbrella of Ecowas Ceasefire Military Group, ECOMOG in Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Additionally, the bloc also intervened in The Gambia recently.

This meeting comes after Niger refused to honour the ultimatum placed by ECOWAS for reinstatement of Mohammed Bazoum. In addition to that, there have been rising insecurity levels in the country which warrant intervention. On Tuesday, 17 soldiers were killed and 20 of them injured by Islamist militants in the country. Furthermore, sources mention that Mohammed Bazoum was being held in deplorable conditions by the Junta.

Read Also: Niger Coup: Junta Shuts Down Niger’s Airspace

To show the support junta had received from Niger citizens, they organised a rally at their stadium. Multiple citizens showed up and ran out of the ultimatum placed by ECOWAS. In the stadium, citizens were seen waving Russian flags and chanting phrases in support of the Wagner group.

Burkina Faso and Mali which were once suspended from ECOWAS, mentioned that if the bloc intervened in Niger, then they would take it as an attack against them and retaliate.

Is ECOWAS’ military intervention better for Niger or not?

Read Also: Tinubu Slams Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso with Financial Sanctions

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