Niger's coup leaders say threat of 'imminent military intervention' by ECOWAS

AFP , Sunday 30 Jul 2023

The leaders of Niger's military coup said on Sunday they believed regional body ECOWAS was on the point of staging a military intervention in the capital of the Sahel country.

Niger s Colonel Major Amadou Abdramane read a press statement on national television on July 28, 2023. AFP


Speaking ahead of an ECOWAS crisis summit on Niger on Sunday, the junta said: "The aim of this meeting is to approve a plan of aggression against Niger, in the form of an imminent military intervention in Niamey, in cooperation with African countries who are not members of the regional body and certain Western nations."

The statement was read out on national television by Amadou Abdramane, a member of the junta which this week ousted elected president Mohamed Bazoum and declared itself in charge.

West African leaders were scheduled to meet on Sunday in the capital of Nigeria, Abuja, to discuss the military takeover in Niger, the latest coup to affect the unstable Sahel region.

The 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), of which Niger is a member, could consider imposing sanctions on the junta.

Former colonial rulers France and the European Union have already suspended security cooperation and financial aid to Niger.

Last year, ECOWAS leaders agreed to create a regional security force to intervene against jihadists and prevent military coups.

Details on how that force would work and its funding are still unclear, with ECOWAS defence ministers expected to make decisions later this year.

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