ECOWAS delegation lands in coup-hit Niger

An ECOWAS delegation arrived in Niger on Saturday to engage in discussions with the military officials who have taken control, as confirmed by sources closely associated with the organization and the deposed President Mohamed Bazoum, according to media.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has consented to deploy a “standby force” as a final measure to reinstate democracy in Niger following the ousting and detention of Bazoum by the military on July 26.

However, the organization has expressed a preference for utilizing dialogue to deescalate the crisis.

Aircraft transporting the delegation touched down in the capital city of Niamey at approximately 1:00 pm (1200 GMT), arriving a day after the military chiefs of the bloc declared their readiness to intervene and restore Bazoum to power.

The military council in Niger’s government verified the presence of ECOWAS delegates, led by former Nigerian leader Abdulsalami Abubakar.

An earlier ECOWAS delegation led by Abubakar attempted to arrange meetings with both Bazoum and the coup leader, General Abdourahamane Tiani, earlier this month, but their efforts were unsuccessful.

A source connected to the current delegation stated that their intent is to convey a message of resolve to the military officers and hold discussions with Bazoum.

The defense chiefs of ECOWAS convened in the Ghanaian capital Accra this week to refine the specifics of a potential military intervention aimed at reinstating Bazoum, should ongoing negotiations with the coup leaders prove ineffective.

“We are ready to go any time the order is given,” stated Abdel-Fatau Musah, an ECOWAS commissioner for political affairs and security, on Friday following the meeting of military chiefs.

“The D-Day is also decided.”

ECOWAS leaders assert the necessity of taking action as Niger becomes the fourth West African country since 2020 to experience a coup, following the examples of Mali, Guinea, and Burkina Faso.

The Sahel region is grappling with escalating militant uprisings associated with Al Qaeda and the Islamic State group.

The mounting frustration due to the violence has contributed, in part, to the occurrences of military takeovers.

ECOWAS forces have previously intervened in various crises since 1990, including civil conflicts in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Ivory Coast, Benin, and Nigeria are anticipated to contribute troops for a mission in Niger.

Scroll to Top