The junta in Niger Republic has put its armed forces on the highest alert, citing increasing threats of attack, according to an internal document issued over the weekend by its defence chief.
The document said the order to be on maximum alert would allow forces to respond adequately in case of any attack and “avoid a general surprise”.
“Threats of aggression to the national territory are increasingly being felt,” it said.
West African regional bloc, ECOWAS, which has been trying to negotiate with the leaders of the July 26 coup, has said it is ready to deploy troops to restore constitutional order if diplomatic efforts fail.
On Friday, ECOWAS downplayed the threat of imminent invasion and said it was “determined to bend backwards to accommodate diplomatic efforts,” although an intervention remained one of the options on the table.
“For the avoidance of doubt, let me state unequivocally that ECOWAS has neither declared war on the people of Niger nor is there a plan, as it is being purported, to invade the country, ECOWAS Commission President, Omar Alieu Touray, told reporters.