We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Military leaders for countries in the West African bloc, ECOWAS, met today in Nigeria. Alamy Stock Photo

West African bloc says it has plans for possible Niger intervention

ECOWAS gave the junta General Abdourahmane Tchian one week to restore power or face the potential use of force.

WEST AFRICAN MILITARY chiefs have agreed a plan for a possible intervention in Niger, as a deadline nears for the country’s junta to restore civilian rule, an official from regional bloc said this evening.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Sunday gave the junta General Abdourahmane Tchiani, that toppled elected president Mohamed Bazoum in a 26 July coup, one week to restore him or face the potential use of force.

ECOWAS military chiefs were meeting in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, to discuss ways to respond to the crisis.

“All the elements that will go into any eventual intervention have been worked out, including the resources needed, and including the how and when we are going deploy the force,” said ECOWAS commissioner Abdel-Fatau Musah.

“We want diplomacy to work, and we want this message clearly transmitted to them that we are giving them every opportunity to reverse what they have done,” he added.

Niger’s junta has vowed to respond “immediately” to any foreign intervention and has been holding Bazoum and his family in his official residence in the capital Niamey for nine days.

The military-ruled governments in neighbouring Mali and Burkina Faso have said an intervention in Niger would be tantamount to a declaration of war against them.

Nigeria, which currently chairs ECOWAS, is taking a hard line against coup plotters after the putsch in Niger, the latest to hit Africa’s Sahel region since 2020.

Earlier, Tchiani said the country would sever military agreements with France, its former colonial ruler, and fired some of the previous government’s key ambassadors and warning citizens of the West African nation to watch for foreign armies and spies.

On Wednesday morning, the first planes carrying French and other European citizens evacuated from Niger and landed in Paris, a week after the coup began.

On Tuesday, Irish officials said they are continuing to monitor the worsening situation in the African country but did not give specific numbers of Irish people in the Sahel area.

A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs said that they were engaging with European countries and other States to determine if an evacuation was required. 

© AFP 2023

-With reporting by Muiris O’Cearbhaill and Niall O’Connor

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel