Gathered in Accra, Ghana for the second consecutive day, the West African army chiefs of staff continue their discussions on a possible military intervention in Niger. The UN has denounced the coup carried out by the military, calling it a “headlong rush”. Follow the latest developments in Niger hour by hour.
ERRATUM: Contrary to what we stated on our airwaves on Thursday, Guinea-Bissau is indeed represented in Accra by its Chief of Staff of the Army. The President of Guinea-Bissau, Umaro Sissoco Embalo, has also assured us of “the perfect concordance of (his) country with the decisions of ECOWAS taken at the meeting of the Chiefs of Staff. “serious consequences” if President Bazoum’s condition worsens, warns the EU
The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, has warned that any “further deterioration” in the condition of Niger’s President, Mohamed Bazoum, who has been held captive since the military coup that toppled him, would have “serious consequences,” during a meeting with Nigerian President Bola Tinubu.
“President Bazoum, who was democratically elected, remains the legitimate head of state of Niger. His detention conditions are deteriorating. Any further deterioration in his health will have serious consequences,” said Charles Michel without further elaboration, according to a statement from his spokesperson on Friday.
The UN has denounced the military officers who seized power in Niamey “on a headlong rush,” stating that “the very notion of freedom in Niger is at stake.”
“Generals cannot arrogate themselves the right to defy – on a headlong rush – the will of the people. The law of arms has no place in today’s world,” said Volker Türk, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, in a statement.
Volker Türk emphasizes that the 2021 election of President Mohamed Bazoum, who is currently imprisoned by the military who have taken power, represented “the first democratic transition in the country’s history, marked by coups d’état.”
10:07: “the majority of ECOWAS states are determined to restore constitutional order,” says expert
The West African army chiefs of staff are meeting in Ghana on Thursday, August 17 and Friday, August 18 to discuss a possible military intervention in Niger, where a coup has been conducted by the military.
Jérôme Pigné, President and Co-founder of the Strategic Thinking Network on Sahel Security, has answered ‘s questions.
He believes that the “majority” of ECOWAS countries are “determined” to “restore constitutional order.” He assures that the military operation planning is ongoing, even if the diplomatic option is still being favored.
Jérôme Pigné states that ECOWAS could mobilize several thousand men, with Ivory Coast already announcing its ability to provide a battalion of 800 to 1,100 soldiers. The West African bloc has at least seven military operations under its belt, under the standby force regime, notes Jérôme Pigné.
Essential events of August 17:
The chiefs of staff of the Economic Community of West African States met in Ghana on Thursday to discuss the terms of a possible military intervention in Niger, although the diplomatic path is still favored to restore President Bazoum to his duties. Meanwhile, Germany is calling for “sanctions” from the EU against the perpetrators of the coup.
AFP and Reuters