The West African regional body ECOWAS is prepared to engage in military intervention in Niger if diplomatic endeavors to overturn the coup prove unsuccessful, as conveyed by a high-ranking official to the army chiefs gathered in Ghana on Thursday.
ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace, and Security, Abdel-Fatau Musah, criticized the junta that ousted President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26, asserting that they are employing evasive tactics with the regional bloc.
He pointed out that they have declined meetings with envoys and are seeking justifications for their takeover, characterizing their actions as a form of “cat-and-mouse” maneuvering.
“The military and the civilian forces of West Africa are ready to answer to the call of duty,” he told assembled chiefs of defence staff from member states.
He cited previous ECOWAS deployments in countries like Gambia, Liberia, and other places as instances that exemplify their state of preparedness.
“If push comes to shove we are going into Niger with our own contingents and equipment and our own resources to make sure we restore constitutional order. If other democratic partners want to support us they are welcome,” he said.
Musah vehemently criticized the junta’s declaration of having the means to subject detained President Bazoum to a trial for treason.
This announcement has elicited concerns from the United Nations, European Union, and ECOWAS, all of which have expressed apprehensions regarding the conditions of his confinement.
“The irony of it is that somebody who is in a hostage situation himself…is being charged with treason. When did he commit high treason is everybody’s guess,” Musah said.