Military Intervention in Niger Already Not on ECOWAS Agenda: Media
© AP Photo / Richard Eshun NanareshGhana's Vice Admiral Seth Amoama, center, flanked by Lieutenant General Yankuba Drammeh of Gambia, left, and Ivory Coast General Lassina Doumbia listen during the Extraordinary Meeting of the ECOWAS Committee of Chiefs of the Defence Staff in Accra, Ghana, Friday, Aug. 18, 2023.
© AP Photo / Richard Eshun Nanaresh
Niger's president, Mohamed Bazoum, was ousted in a coup in July and detained by his guard, General Abdourahamane Tchiani. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) later decided to suspend all cooperation with Niger and threatened military intervention.
The Economic Community of African States (ECOWAS) is quietly demobilizing its forces that were positioned for a possible military intervention in Niger, according to Radio France International's (RFI) diplomatic source interviewed after the group's aborted summit, which was scheduled for this week. The cancellation was due to "poor organization," the source said.
Three months ago, no one was considering an advanced armed operation, a diplomat from a member country of the community told the media. Contributing countries have gathered their troops, released them and paid them the planned bonuses.
The demobilization order should have been issued by now. However, the next ECOWAS summit is scheduled for December 10 in Abuja, according to analysts quoted by the media.
The Military Intervention
In late July, following a coup in Niamey, ECOWAS imposed economic sanctions on Niger and threatened military intervention if constitutional order was not restored. A meeting of the bloc's chiefs of staff was held in Accra in mid-August. ECOWAS said it was "ready to intervene" as soon as its West African leaders gave the order.
'The End of ECOWAS'
The ruling army in Niger, led by General Abdourahamane Tchiani, announced last week that ECOWAS would face serious consequences if it intervened.
"An attack on Niger would mean the end of ECOWAS," warned General Mohamed Boubacar Toumba, the minister of the interior, on October 22, during a speech at the Lome Peace and Security Forum.
At the same time, the Nigerien military called for dialogue with the regional organization, saying their country was suffering from the effects of sanctions.