ECOWAS military chiefs to meet for discussions on Niger

West African military leaders are set to gather in Accra, the capital of Ghana, on Thursday to deliberate the potential for a military intervention in Niger in the event that diplomatic efforts do not succeed in reversing the military coup.

Last month, the presidential guard in Niger, led by General Abdourahmane Tiani, staged a coup, leading to widespread condemnation from global powers and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). In response, ECOWAS decided last week to assemble a standby military force.

The meeting of ECOWAS army chiefs is scheduled to commence at Ghana’s armed forces headquarters at approximately 0900 GMT on Thursday and is expected to conclude by Friday afternoon.

Niger’s junta has expressed willingness to engage in discussions to address the situation.

However, the detention of ousted President Mohamed Bazoum and the announcement of his potential prosecution for high treason have raised concerns that the junta might not be inclined to pursue a peaceful resolution to the crisis.

The African Union, the European Union, the United States, and the United Nations have expressed concerns over the conditions of detention for Bazoum.

Any potential military intervention could exacerbate the already precarious situation in the impoverished Sahel region, where a decade-long insurgency by groups associated with Al Qaeda and Islamic State has led to the displacement of millions and exacerbated a severe hunger crisis.

Niger hosts troops from the United States, France, Germany, and Italy, who are involved in international initiatives aimed at countering the insurgency.

The nation holds significant strategic value for global powers due to its reserves of uranium and oil.

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