Thousands of supporters of the military junta that emerged from the coup in Niger gathered peacefully near the French military base in Niamey on Friday, chanting anti-French slogans.
The key meeting of the ECOWAS on the deployment of a force to restore President Mohamed Bazoum has been postponed. Follow the situation in Niger here, hour by hour.
From the most interventionist countries, particularly Ivory Coast and Nigeria, the postponement of the ECOWAS meeting is justified by “technical reasons,” but others speculate about possible disagreements.
Once operational, the economic community force will be composed of the Nigerian, Ivorian, Beninese, Bissau-Guinean, and Ghanaian armies, mobilizable within 48 hours.
The legal aspect is settled; there can be no opposition as the ECOWAS statutes allow for such intervention. However, heads of state must meet and agree in advance.
A key ECOWAS meeting on the deployment of a force to restore President Mohamed Bazoum has been postponed. This meeting, originally scheduled for Saturday in Accra, has been indefinitely postponed for “technical reasons,” according to regional military sources.
The heads of staff of the Economic Community of West African States were to inform their leaders “of the best options” to follow up on their decision to activate and deploy their “standby force.”
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed his “shock” at the Niger military leaders’ refusal to release, as a “gesture of goodwill,” the family of overthrown President Mohamed Bazoum.
Concerns are growing about the health and conditions of detention of President Bazoum, as well as his wife and 20-year-old son since the coup on July 26.
During a phone call with former President Mahamadou Issoufou, Antony Blinken expressed “deep concern about the unlawful detention of President Bazoum and his family under increasingly difficult conditions.”
Thousands of supporters of the military junta that took power in Niger expressed their anger on Friday towards France and the West African countries of ECOWAS, whose key meeting of heads of staff on deploying a force to restore President Mohamed Bazoum was postponed.
This meeting, originally scheduled for Saturday in Accra, has been indefinitely postponed for “technical reasons,” according to regional military sources.
Highlights of August 11:
Following an extraordinary summit in Abuja, the leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) ordered the activation of the organization’s “standby force” to restore constitutional order in Niger, without providing further details.
Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara later stated that the ECOWAS heads of state had given their green light for a military operation to “start as soon as possible.”