A delegation from the West African cooperation organization ECOWAS arrived in Niger and met with the leaders of the military coup. ECOWAS member states are demanding the restoration of democracy in Niger and have warned of possible military intervention.
ECOWAS wants a peaceful solution to the conflict, but this requires the cooperation of the Niger military. They had previously ignored an ultimatum to cede power and release democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum, who has been detained since the July 26 coup.
Niger is the fourth country in West Africa to experience a military coup since 2020. The others are Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea. These three countries and Cape Verde are the only ECOWAS Member States that did not want to contribute troops to the intervention in Niger. According to the Commissioner, 11 other countries are ready to do so. Niger itself is a member of the Cooperation Organization.
Neighbouring countries have stepped up the pressure. A ‘D-day’ has reportedly been set for military intervention if negotiations fail. Sources told AFP that the ECOWAS delegation’s plane landed in the Niger capital Niamey. The delegation is led by former Nigerian President Abdulsalami Abubakar.
This is not the first time ECOWAS has attempted dialog with coup leaders. In early August, a delegation also travelled to Niger but returned without speaking to the coup leaders or Bazoum. This ECOWAS team was also led by Abu Bakr.