ECOWAS Secures Military Support for Niger’s Democratic Restoration Efforts

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has successfully rallied the military backing of 10 out of its 15 member states in its endeavor to reinstate a democratic government in the Republic of Niger. This collective commitment was solidified on Thursday in Ghana, where the participating nations expressed their preparedness to contribute to a standby force if the need arises.

This cooperative response from the ECOWAS member states was prompted by an emergency summit held by the Heads of Government. During this summit, the Defense Chiefs were mandated to activate the standby force, reflecting the organization’s resolve to restore democratic order in Niger.

The impetus for this united stance came in the wake of the forceful removal of President Mohamed Bazoum, who had been democratically elected, on July 26. The military junta, led by General Abdourahamane Tchiani, orchestrated this power shift.

With the exception of member states currently under military rule and Cape Verde, all other ECOWAS nations have pledged their participation in the standby force. This affirmation underscores the collective determination to uphold democratic principles and ensure stability in the region.

ECOWAS Commissioner Abdel-Fatau Musah highlighted the readiness of West Africa’s formidable forces, stating, “Let no one be in doubt, if everything else fails, the valiant forces of West Africa… are ready to answer the call of duty.”

“By all means available, constitutional order will be restored in the country,” stall ECOWAS deployments in Gambia, and Liberia as examples of readiness.

Al Jazeera alos quoted Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Gwabin Musa, to have said, “Democracy is what we stand for and it’s what we encourage,”

“The focus of our gathering is not simply to react to events, but to proactively chart a course that results in peace and promote stability.”

It’s unclear when or where the force will deploy and which countries from the 15-member bloc would contribute to it. Conflict experts say it would likely comprise some 5,000 troops led by Nigeria and could be ready within weeks.

The presidential guards seized power from President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26, making the ECOWAS to issue a one-week ultimatum to the military to restore the president or risk sanctions.

The military ignored the ECOWAS threats and vowed to resist foreign intervention.

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