The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has agreed on an undisclosed date for possible military intervention in Niger.
ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Abdel-Fatau Musah, made an announcement at the end of the meeting of West African army chiefs in Accra on Friday, August 18 where they have been coordinating a possible armed intervention aimed at reversing the coup in Niger if diplomatic options fail.
He said, “We’ve already agreed and fine tuned what will be required for the intervention.
“All member states of ECOWAS present here today have all committed elements, they have committed their own equipment, they have committed their own resources to undertake this mission, so I tell you we are ready to go anytime the order is given.”
According to the bloc, most of its 15 member states are willing to contribute to the joint force, with the exception of countries under military rule – Mali, Burkina Faso, and Guinea – and Cape Verde.
“The D-day is also decided,” Musah added.
He stated that while “all options are on the table” including mediation and sanctions, ECOWAS will not hold an “endless dialogue” and insists on restoring constitutional order in Niger.
“We want to get back to constitutional normalcy, and the decision is that the coup in Niger is one coup too many for the region, and we are putting a stop to it at this time, and we are drawing the line in the sand.”
Also, the United Nations (UN) has urged Niger’s military authorities to promptly restore constitutional order.
In a statement issued, Spokeswoman for UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ravina Shamdasani, said, “The people have already been through so much hardship over the years, now, the very people they elected to build a pathway to end their destitution have been removed by force against the constitutional order and detained by the coup leaders. They must be released at once and democracy restored.”
On July 30, ECOWAS issued Niger’s military authorities a one-week deadline to reinstall Bazoum or face the threat of force, but the period passed without action.