ECOWAS defence chiefs are fine-tuning strategies for a potential military intervention in Niger in a two-day meeting in Accra, Ghana.
The West African military chiefs entered a second day of talks in Ghana on Friday, strategizing on deploying the ‘standby’ force in Niger after a coup that removed President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26.
“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,” Abdel-Fatau Musah, an ECOWAS commissioner for political affairs and security, told the meeting on Thursday.
“Meanwhile, we are still giving diplomacy a chance, and the ball is in the junta court.”
According to ALJAZEERA, Musah revealed that every country in the West African bloc is ready to contribute to the regional force except Cape Verde and countries led by military governments.
The defence chiefs will announce any next steps at a closing ceremony of the two-day event today, Friday, August 18.
The details of the military operation in Niger have not been released and analysts say any intervention would be politically and militarily risky, especially for their Nigerian neighbour.
Bazoum has been held with his family at the president’s residence since the coup plotters overthrew the president, elected in 2021.
Niger’s coup leaders, after warning against any military attacks, say they are open to talks.
The military-led governments in neighbouring Mali and Burkina Faso have also said a military operation in Niger would be seen as a declaration of war against them.