ECOWAS agrees to begin operation in Niger as soon as possible — Cote d’Ivoire leader

PRETTORIA:  Leaders of member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have agreed to begin a military operation ...


PRETTORIA:  Leaders of member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have agreed to begin a military operation in Niger as soon as possible, the president of Cote d’Ivoire said on Thursday upon his return from the organization’s summit in Abuja, Nigeria.

"Chiefs of staffs will hold a few more meetings to finalize the details, but there is consent among [ECOWAS] leaders to begin the operation as soon as possible," Agence France-Presse quoted Alassane Ouattara as saying.

The president said his country will send a force of 850-1,100 people to participate in the operation. Other countries, including Nigeria and Benin, will join.

In his opinion, "everything now depends" on the rebel forces who seized power in the country. There will be no military intervention if they back down, he added.

"We are full of determination to reinstate President Mohamed Bazoum," Alassane Ouattara added.

In late July, a group of officers from Niger’s Presidential Guard launched a coup and announced that President Mohamed Bazoum was deposed. The National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland (Conseil national pour la sauvegarde de la patrie, CNSP) was formed to govern the country and was headed by General Abdurahmane Tchiani. Bazoum is still in custody at his residence, but can talk with leaders and representatives of other countries over the phone.

The leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), to which Niger is also a member, demanded that Bazoum be released by August 7. Since the demand was not met in time, the leaders of the community met again on August 10.

In a statement released after the summit, the organization said in a communique that it was committed to a peaceful solution, but ready to consider all options of settling the Nigerien crisis.

The West African bloc said "all options for restoring the constitutional order in Niger are on the table."

Meanwhile, Burkina Faso and Mali expressed solidarity with the people of Niger and condemned the imposition of sanctions by ECOWAS against Niamey, stating that such measures only "exacerbate the suffering of the people and jeopardize the spirit of Pan-Africanism." Both states warned that they would consider such a step as an attack on themselves.


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Local Glob: ECOWAS agrees to begin operation in Niger as soon as possible — Cote d’Ivoire leader
ECOWAS agrees to begin operation in Niger as soon as possible — Cote d’Ivoire leader
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