The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) agreed on Friday to activate the ‘stand by’ force as a last resort and have fixed a ‘D-Day’ to carry out military intervention in Niger.
According to ALJAZEERA, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security Abdel-Fatau Musah said, “We are ready to go when the order is given”.
“The D-day is also decided. We’ve already agreed and fine-tuned what will be required for the intervention,”
Musah said this during the closing ceremony of a two-day meeting of West African army chiefs in Ghana’s capital, Accra.
He emphasized that ECOWAS was focused on reaching a peaceful agreement with Niger’s military leaders.
“As we speak, we are still readying a mediation mission into the country, so we have not shut any door,” he added.
The defence chiefs met in Accra to finalize preparation for a possible military operation to restore Bazoum in case ongoing negotiations with the coup leaders fail.
“Let no one be in doubt that if everything else fails, the valiant forces of West Africa, both the military and the civilian components, are ready to answer to the call of duty,” Musah said.
Military officers deposed Bazoum in a coup on July 26 and have ignored calls from ECOWAS, United Nations, ECOWAS and the international community to restore him.
According to an ECOWAS official, most of the 15 member states are prepared to contribute to the joint force, except Cape Verde and other countries ruled by the military- Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea.
The West Africa Centre for Counter-Extremism executive director, Mutaru Mumuni, told Al Jazeera that ECOWAS seem to be sending “mixed and confusing” signals regarding Niger.