ECOWAS Military Chiefs to Meet Over Niger Crisis

The military chiefs of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have scheduled a meeting for Saturday where they plan to deliberate more on resolving the crisis in the Republic of Niger.

The West African chiefs of staff made decision on Friday, following a summit that ordered the deployment of a “standby force” in the effort to resolve the Niger Republic crisis, regional military sources said.

The proposed meeting of the ECOWAS military chiefs will take place in the Ghanaian capital, Accra, they said, according to AFP.

ECOWAS leaders on Thursday, after meeting in Abuja, directed military action to restore democracy in the Republic of Niger.

The directive came following the 2nd Extraordinary Summit on the socio-political situation in Niger Republic.

It was after the Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, had earlier said that the regional bloc will continue to champion diplomacy and dialogue, as well as earnest discussions with all parties involved, to restore constitutional governance in the Republic of Niger.

“In reaffirming our relentless commitment to democracy, human rights, and the well-being of the people of Niger, it is crucial that we prioritize diplomatic negotiations and dialogue as the bedrock of our approach.

“We must engage all parties involved, including the coup leaders, in earnest discussions to convince them to relinquish power and reinstate President Bazoum.

“It is our duty to exhaust all avenues of engagement to ensure a swift return to constitutional governance in Niger.”

However, ECOWAS eventually made a U-turn and decided to activate military action to restore democracy in the Republic of Niger.

The decision was a result of the failure of the Niger junta to honour a one-week ultimatum given to release the ousted President, Mohamed Bazoum and restore democracy.

Instead, the junta formed a new government to be headed by a transitional prime minister, Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine.

In its reaction to the bloc’s standby force, the junta threatened to kill Bazoum, if there is any military intervention from the neighbouring country, as revealed by a top US diplomat.

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