By Mukhtar Tjee
Troops of the Economic Community of West African States have said they are ready to participate in a standby force that could intervene in Niger.
After presidential guards seized power from President Mohamed Bazoum, ECOWAS issued a 7-day ultimatum to the military to restore the president or risk sanctions, including possible military action.
But the junta called off ECOWAS’ bluff and vowed to resist foreign intervention.
Subsequently, the regional bloc asked Defence Chiefs from the 15-member regional bloc to activate its standby force.
At a meeting in Accra, Ghana capital, on Thursday, the Defence Chiefs said they were prepared to restore civil rule in Niger.
According to Al Jazeera, all member states except those under military rule and Cape Verde pledged readiness to participate in the standby force.
ECOWAS commissioner, Abdel-Fatau Musah, was quoted to have said this.
The medium further quoted Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Gwabin Musa, to have said, “Democracy is what we stand for and it’s what we encourage,”
“The focus of our gathering is not simply to react to events, but to proactively chart a course that results in peace and promote stability.”
Burkina Faso and Mali, which have experienced multiple coups since 2020, warned that any military intervention in Niger would be declared as an act of war, revealing a fracture in the region between its coastal countries and those in the volatile Sahel.