Niamey, Aug 26 (EFE).- The new Niger military chief Saturday asked the armed forces to stay on the “maximum alert” due to an escalating threat of military aggression.
The call by Brigadier General Moussa Salaou Barmou, recently appointed by the coup junta, followed a warning by the West African bloc ECOWAS that it is ready to deploy troops to restore constitutional order.
ECOWAS has been trying to negotiate with the Niger military rules through diplomatic efforts to restore the civilian government.
In a broadcasted message, Salaou Barmou said the decision to put troops on the highest alert came in response to “the threats of aggression that are becoming more and more palpable” and to be ready with “an adequate response” to these warnings.
The general instructed all subordinate personnel to promptly communicate any “hostile actions” within their respective areas of responsibility to their superiors.
Niger has been embroiled in a political crisis since July 26, when military commanders, led by former head of the Presidential Guard General Abdourahamane Tiani, overthrew President Mohamed Bazoum’s government.
This coup resulted in President Bazoum’s confinement to his residence and the suspension of the constitution.
The international community, including the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), has widely condemned the coup, leading to the imposition of economic and trade sanctions on Niger.
ECOWAS suspended Niger’s membership within the bloc and issued a threat of military intervention against the coup leaders if they failed to reinstate constitutional order.
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu of Nigeria, who leads ECOWAS, announced Friday his intention to prevent potential military intervention and to continue advocating for dialogue as a means of resolution.
Several nations have rejected the prospect of military intervention.
Neighboring countries such as Mali and Burkina Faso, both governed by military juntas, have cautioned that any military action against Niger would be tantamount to a declaration of war against them. EFE