Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger discuss response to ECOWAS military threat
Niamey, Aug. 19, 2023
Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger have met to discuss a joint defence strategy in response to the announcement by the West African regional bloc, ECOWAS, of military intervention in the coup in Niger.
Military staff of the three countries met in the Nigerien capital Niamey to decide on “concrete measures” in case ECOWAS chooses to “escalate a war,” according to local media reports on Saturday.
Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger have all been under military rule since coups in their respective countries and had therefore been kicked out of ECOWAS.
ECOWAS declared on Friday, that its forces were ready to intervene in Niger “once the order is given,” following the shock coup that took place just over three weeks ago.
A specific date for an intervention was not released.
All options, including a diplomatic solution, remain on the table, ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace, and Security, Abdel-Fatau Musah said.
Military chiefs from nine out of the 15-member countries deliberated during a two-day meeting in Ghana’s capital, Accra.
An ECOWAS mission would initially travel to Niger, according to Musah.
If this fails, the regional bloc would resort to a military solution to restore constitutional order in Niger.
A date for a potential military action has already been set, but cannot be disclosed publicly, the ECOWAS commissioner said.
All member states except those ruled by the military, as well as Cape Verde, have reportedly agreed to participate.