The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) issued a statement Wednesday condemning deadly attacks by suspected terrorists in Niger after gunmen killed more than a dozen soldiers near the border with Burkina Faso.
On Sunday, six soldiers were killed when suspected terrorists attacked a patrol vehicle of Niger’s national guard.
In the latest assault on Tuesday, gunmen attacked an army detachment near the town of Koutougou in the Tillaberi region near the border with Burkina Faso.
In its statement, ECOWAS conveyed its “deepest condolences” to the people of Niger and the families of the deceased soldiers.
It made a fresh demand for the military administration to restore constitutional order in Niger “in order to concentrate on the security of the country, which has become increasingly fragile” since President Mohamed Bazoum was ousted by military intervention on July 26.
Bazoum, his son and wife have reportedly been held hostage at his palace in the capital Niamey since he was ousted.
ECOWAS said Wednesday that it has commenced the activation of the bloc’s standby force for the restoration of constitutional order in Niger following a decision by the bloc’s leaders last week.
The bloc’s chiefs of defense staff are due to meet in Ghana’s capital Accra on Thursday and Friday to finalize plans for the deployment of the standby force to Niger, it said on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Gen. Abdourahamane Tiani, the former commander of Niger’s presidential guard, declared himself the head of a transitional government after the military ousted Bazoum.