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ECOWAS Mediators In Niger Seek Resolution Amid Coup Crisis

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has taken action following the recent coup in Niger, dispatching a delegation to engage with the military leaders responsible for ousting President Mohamed Bazoum. Led by Nigeria’s former military ruler, Abdulsalami Abubakar, the delegation is set to discuss the situation in Niamey as the Committee of Chiefs of Defense Staff (CCDS) convenes in Abuja.

In response to the coup, ECOWAS imposed economic and financial sanctions on Niger, warning that if the coup leaders do not reinstate President Bazoum within seven days from last Sunday, they may authorize the use of force. However, ECOWAS has asserted that force would only be considered as a last resort.

Abdel-Fatau Musah, ECOWAS commissioner for political affairs, peace, and security, emphasized the gravity of resorting to military intervention, stating, “The military option is the very last option on the table, the last resort, but we have to prepare for the eventuality. There is a need to demonstrate that we cannot only bark but can bite.”

Amidst the situation, Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani expressed concerns over Western military intervention, warning that it could be perceived as a form of “new colonization.” On the other hand, Russia advocated for dialogue, arguing that military involvement would exacerbate tensions rather than resolve them.

In response to potential foreign intervention in Niger, the juntas of Mali and Burkina Faso issued a stern warning, considering such an action as a declaration of war against their respective countries.

The coup, which occurred on June 26, has garnered widespread condemnation, especially from Niamey’s Western allies in the fight against jihadist insurgencies in the Sahel region. France, Niger’s former colonizer, cut all development aid to the country, while the EU and Germany suspended budgetary support and security cooperation activities with the junta led by General Abdourahamane Tiani.

In light of the escalating situation, the EU announced the evacuation of its citizens from Niamey, while France and Italy have already repatriated some nationals to Paris and Rome.

The ongoing crisis in Niger remains a matter of regional and international concern, with ECOWAS exploring diplomatic solutions while keeping the option of force as a last resort on the table. The delicate balance between stability and intervention will likely shape the country’s future trajectory in the turbulent Sahel region.

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#Niger #NigerCoup #ECOWAS #Mali #BurkinaFaso #UN #Guterres #OmarTchiani #MohamedBazoum #Bazoum#CoupdEtat

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