Conflicts & War

Ecowas meeting ends without resolution on Niger crisis

Lagos, Aug 4 (EFE).- Military leaders from countries in the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) ended a three-day meeting in Abuja on Friday without agreeing on a military intervention in Niger.

A military junta overthrew Niger’s elected government and imprisoned its president Mohamed Bazoum last week.

While some in the West African body, including Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and Nigeria, have said they are prepared to respond militarily unless Bazoum is reinstated, the leaders of Burkina Faso and Mali – Ecowas members that are also ruled by juntas following coups in recent years – have opposed the move, arguing that any military intervention in Niger would amount to a declaration of war against them as well.

Ecowas Commissioner for Political Affairs Abdulfatai Musa said Wednesday that, although it is on the table, military intervention is “the last resort.”

In a letter published in the Washington Post on Wednesday which he said he was writing “as a hostage,” Bazoum appealed to “the United States government and the entire international community” to help restore constitutional order in his country.

Ecowas have applied a range of sanctions against the junta, who are calling themselves the National Council for the Safeguard of the People (CNSP) since the coup on Jul. 26, with Nigeria on Wednesday cutting off electricity supplies to its neighbor.

The crisis in the former French colony has seen thousands of foreign civilians evacuated in recent days.

The coup d’état has led to the removal of the president, the suspension of institutions, the closure of borders (which have since been reopened) and a nighttime curfew until further notice.

Niger is now the fourth West African country led by a military junta, after Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso, where there were coups between 2020 and 2022. EFE


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