Algeria opposes foreign military intervention in Niger, Algerian Chief of Staff Said Chengriha said Tuesday, warning that it would lead to further instability in the Sahel region.
Speaking during the Moscow Security Conference in Russia, the Algerian top military official called for the swift return of Niger to its constitution, away from foreign interventionism that “will lead to more instability in the region.”
The situation in the African Sahel region “is a direct result of the repercussions of the Libyan crisis and the foreign interventions in the region since 2011, as well as the alarming development of the armed conflict in Sudan since April 2023.”
Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune highlighted earlier that the Niger crisis represents a “direct threat to Algeria,” rejecting completely and categorically the prospect of military intervention in Niamey.
The ongoing crisis in Niger poses a direct threat to Algeria, Tebboune said last week, adding that the situation is to be solved through rational means rather than through power, “and Algeria is prepared to intervene and help with reconciliation efforts in the neighboring state.”
“Niger must not slip into chaos,” the head of state added. “Algeria rejects any intervention in any war, and it rejects blood spillage in any brotherly or friendly nation.”
The millitary chiefs of the Economic Community of West African States met to discuss options for military intervention in Niger. The goal of the meeting reportedly is to outline a plan for the intervention, its strategy, logistical aspects, and timetable.
Correspondingly, military leaders in Niger have warned against any armed intervention in their country, stressing that they will “resolutely defend their homeland.”
The interim governments of Mali and Burkina Faso warned that any military intervention against Niger would be considered a declaration of war against them.
ECOWAS has resorted to implementing a full pressure campaign on the country, which included the closure of land and air borders between the bloc’s countries and Niger, the suspension of all commercial and financial transactions with it, and the freezing of the country’s assets in ECOWAS Central Banks.
The bloc also suspended all financial aid to Niger, froze the assets of the coup leaders, their families, and supporters, and imposed a ban on commercial flights to and from the country.
Military chiefs from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will meet in Ghana on Thursday and Friday to discuss a possible military invasion in Niger, regional military and political sources confirmed on Tuesday.
The meeting, originally scheduled for Saturday but then postponed, came after ECOWAS leaders last week approved the deployment of a “standby force to restore constitutional order” in Niger and reinstate Western-backed ousted president Mohamed Bazoum who was toppled on July 26 in a coup staged by military leaders.
At the weekend, the coup leaders said they were open to a diplomatic push after their chief, General Abdourahamane Tchiani, met with Nigerian religious mediators.
But on Sunday night, Niger’s rulers declared they had gathered sufficient evidence to prosecute Bazoum for “high treason and undermining internal and external security.”