The junta in Niger has put the army on high alert in anticipation of an attack, DPA reported. The news comes a week after the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) said it would consider using force if constitutional order is not restored in Niger.
For his part, the chairman of the ECOWAS Commission, Omar Alieu Touray, said that the organization has “triggered the full-scale application of sanctions, which includes the use of legitimate force to restore constitutional order.”
He specified that the use of force is a last resort and that the organization seeks a diplomatic settlement of the political crisis in Niger.
The junta in Niger has raised the alarm by putting the army on high alert in anticipation of an attack, according to a report from DPA. This development comes just a week after the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) announced its readiness to use force if constitutional order is not restored in Niger.
Omar Alieu Touray, Chairman of the ECOWAS Commission, expressed the organization’s determination to restore constitutional order, stating that they have “triggered the full-scale application of sanctions, which includes the use of legitimate force.” However, he emphasized that force would only be used as a last resort, with the primary goal being a diplomatic resolution to the political crisis in Niger.
The situation in Niger has been tense ever since the military coup took place, leading to the removal of President Mohamed Bazoum. The junta, known as the Supreme Council for the Restoration of Democracy (CSRD), has since taken control of the country, suspending the constitution and dissolving the National Assembly. This power grab has been met with widespread condemnation from both domestic and international actors.
The ECOWAS has been at the forefront of efforts to restore stability in Niger. The organization has been engaging in diplomatic talks with the junta, urging them to hand over power to a civilian-led transitional government. ECOWAS has also imposed sanctions on the junta, including travel bans and asset freezes on its members, in an attempt to pressure them into complying with their demands.
However, the junta has so far shown little willingness to relinquish power. They argue that their actions were necessary to prevent the country from descending into chaos and have called for a national dialogue to chart the way forward. This has created a deadlock between the junta and ECOWAS, with neither side willing to back down.
The decision to put the army on high alert indicates the junta’s concern over a potential military intervention by ECOWAS forces. While ECOWAS has not specified a timeline for their potential use of force, the junta is taking no chances and is preparing for any eventuality.
The situation in Niger is a cause for concern not only for the region but also for the international community. The country is already grappling with numerous challenges, including poverty, terrorism, and a refugee crisis. The political instability resulting from the coup only exacerbates these issues and threatens to further destabilize the region.
It is imperative that a peaceful resolution is found to the crisis in Niger. The use of force should be seen as a last resort, as it risks further bloodshed and instability. Diplomatic efforts should be intensified, with both ECOWAS and the junta showing flexibility and a willingness to compromise. The international community should also lend its support to these efforts, providing the necessary resources and diplomatic pressure to bring about a peaceful resolution.
Ultimately, the people of Niger deserve a government that is accountable, transparent, and committed to their well-being. It is crucial that all stakeholders work towards restoring constitutional order and ensuring a smooth transition to a civilian-led government. Only through peaceful means can stability and progress be achieved in Niger and the wider West African region.