The political turmoil in Niger takes a dire turn as the junta currently in power threatens to ousted President Mohamed Bazoum if they suffer any military aggression by external forces.
The threat, conveyed to a top U.S. diplomat, unveils a perilous escalation in the ongoing power struggle in the West African nation since last month.
Neighboring nations’ potential military intervention to reinstate Bazoum has triggered this reaction from the junta, which seized control of the country on July 26.
According to sources within the junta, the warning came as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) made moves to restore democracy in Niger.
The regional bloc had announced the deployment of a “standby force” to ensure the reinstatement of Bazoum’s government after their ultimatum had passed.
The stakes are now considerably higher for both the junta and ECOWAS. The junta’s audacious threat puts their commitment to extreme measures on display, challenging the regional bloc’s determination to intervene and restore democratic order.
Niger’s significance in the fight against Jihadi violence in the Sahel region cannot be overlooked. The country has been a crucial partner for Western nations combating the influence of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group in the region. With thousands dead and millions displaced due to the violence, Niger’s stability has global implications.
The international community is grappling to find a peaceful resolution to the escalating crisis. Aneliese Bernard, a former U.S. State Department official specializing in African affairs, stressed that the heightened tensions might paradoxically push both sides toward negotiation.
However, concerns remain about the junta’s propensity for radical actions, given their swift and forceful takeover.
Recent developments saw leaders from the West African bloc convene in Abuja to strategize on the situation. President of the ECOWAS Commission, Omar Alieu Touray, reiterated the bloc’s commitment to deploying a standby force to address the crisis.
He acknowledged the economic and travel sanctions imposed on Niger but held the junta responsible for any associated hardships.
As the standoff continues, questions arise about ECOWAS’s ability to catalyze effective change. Past coups in the region have proven difficult for the bloc to prevent or reverse. With limited options remaining and fading support for intervention, ECOWAS faces challenges in restoring stability to Niger.
Support Investigative Journalism and Mentorship
Courageous Journalism of Truth,Transparency and Development is in the DNA of Prime Business Africa; By donating as little as N1000 or $1 today, you are helping to keep credible journalism and life-changing information free for all.