The Economic Community of West African States is meeting in Ghana to discuss the possibility of armed intervention

The Economic Community of West African States is meeting in Ghana to discuss the possibility of armed intervention

The chiefs of staff of the West African armies began their meeting Thursday, August 17, in Ghana to discuss a possible armed intervention in Niger after the army-led coup, against which Berlin has called for European sanctions.

“Democracy is what we stand for and support”This was stated by the Nigerian Chief of Staff General Christopher Gwaben Musa at the opening of this meeting in Accra between military officials from the countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

If the option of an armed operation remains on the table, it seems that the Economic Community of West African States still prefers the path of dialogue with the military regime that overthrew President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26 and placed General Abd al-Rahman Thani at the head of the country. “The purpose of our meeting is not merely to respond to events, but to chart a proactive course that leads to peace and supports stability.”Gen. Jawabin Moussa continued.

This crucial meeting comes two days after a deadly attack by suspected jihadists in southwestern Niger killed at least seventeen Nigerien soldiers and wounded twenty others.

Read also: The material is reserved for our subscribers In Niger, the number of jihadist attacks has increased since the coup

Berlin wants sanctions

On the diplomatic front, Germany he raised his voice Thursday by the European Union call to take “Penalties” Against the perpetrators of the coup in Niger, a country crucial to supplying the European continent with uranium.

German Cooperation Minister Svenja Schulz is visiting Nigeria Discussions in Abuja on how best to support ECOWAS effortsThe ministry reported.

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The West African Organization has already taken retaliatory measures against the perpetrators of this coup “significantly affects Niger’s supply of food and vital medical items”the World Food Program warned on Wednesday.

The new regime is looking for allies in the region

Calls for a peaceful resolution to this crisis have multiplied in recent days, including among some Western partners. And so the United States announced on Wednesday that the new ambassador, Kathleen Fitzgibbon, would soon be settling in Niamey. “This is not a sign of a change in US policy but of its continued engagement.” to find a diplomatic solution, said a State Department spokesman.

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At the same time, the new Nigerian regime is also looking for allies in the region. On Tuesday, the military-appointed prime minister of Niamey, Ali Mohamed Lamine Zein, headed to N’Djamena, where he was greeted by Chad’s transitional president, Mohamed Idriss Deby Itno.

For the first time he said his country was like that “in the process of transition”without specifying the period, before the possible elections to return to the constitutional order.

Chad, the major military power in the Sahel region, announced last week that it would not participate in any military intervention alongside the Economic Community of West African States to which it does not belong.

Neighbors Mali and Burkina Faso, led by soldiers who came to power through coups in 2020 and 2022, quickly showed solidarity with the generals in Niamey.

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Supporters of the junta gather for a demonstration in Niamey on August 11, 2023 near a French air base in Niger.

The promise of an “immediate response” to any armed intervention

The latter is still inflexible at the moment and has been holding the ousted President Mohamed Bazoum imprisoned since July 26, for which they intend to sue. ” treason “. They believe that a military operation against their country would be tantamount to a “Illegal and irrational aggression” promised a “immediate response” any armed intervention.

Read also: The material is reserved for our subscribers Niger: The African Union rejects any military intervention and distances itself from ECOWAS

The Nigerian army has been mobilizing for years in the fight against jihadists, particularly in the vast Tillaberi region, located in the so-called “three borders” region between Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali, where Tuesday’s attack took place.

Before the coup, France, the former colonial power, which has 1,500 soldiers in Niger, was actively involved with the Nigerian army in fighting these jihadist groups. Since then it has become one of the favorite targets of the new regime in Niamey, which accuses it of influencing the decisions of the Economic Community of West African States.

The world with Agence France-Presse

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