The defense chiefs of West Africa have reached a critical agreement on a potential military intervention to restore democracy in the country.
The junta that seized power in Niger is facing mounting pressure from the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) as a deadline approaches for them to return the nation to constitutional order.
After a three-day meeting of defense officials in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, the plan was officially announced on Friday.
Nigeria, the region’s most influential country with the largest military, sought legislative approval for military action as part of this initiative.
Abdel-Fatau Musah, Ecowas Commissioner for Peace and Security, addressed the media after the meeting, stating that all necessary elements for the intervention had been thoroughly discussed and refined. This included determining the timing, required resources, and the deployment strategy.
While military intervention is considered the last resort, Ecowas is determined to make diplomacy work. Over the past three years, the regional bloc attempted to convince military leaders in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Guinea to restore democracy through peaceful means, without resorting to the use of force. In Niger’s case, however, a more robust stance is being taken.
The junta in Niger will be given a grace period to reconsider their actions and restore the country to constitutional rule. Should they fail to do so, Ecowas is prepared to compel them to hand over power to civilian authorities. Nigeria, Ivory Coast, and Senegal have pledged their support to reverse the coup, marking the sixth successful coup in the region within the past three years.
General Christopher Gwabin Musa, Nigeria’s defense minister, emphasized that the success of this meeting would be determined by tangible actions on the ground, not mere rhetoric. Ecowas has already taken a tough stance, imposing border closures and harsh sanctions that have caused food prices to skyrocket in the impoverished nation.
The coup in Niger has led to a chain of military-led countries across the region, raising concerns about their ties with the West. Russia, in particular, has been making inroads in the region through the Wagner Group, leading to questions about the geopolitical dynamics at play.
Niger has long been a vital partner in the fight against jihadist groups in the Sahel, but the junta’s actions have strained defense ties with France, the ex-colonial power with troops stationed in the country. Burkina Faso and Mali, both of which have recently experienced coups, have moved closer to Russia, creating a complex geopolitical landscape in the region.
Burkina Faso’s Military Junta Foils Attempted Coup Amid Ongoing Instability
Burkina Faso’s military junta announced its successful thwarting of an attempted coup this week, once again highlighting the nation’s precarious stability in the face of an ongoing Islamist insurgency.
The fragile transitional government, led by Colonel Ibrahim Traore, found itself targeted by a group of military officers and their cohorts seeking to plunge the country into chaos.
Government spokesman Jean Emmanuel Ouedraogo released a statement late Wednesday, confirming the arrest of the individuals behind the plot, while asserting that those still at large were actively being pursued.
Traore, who took power a year ago after overthrowing Interim President Henri Paul Sandaogo Damiba, has been on edge due to the persistent specter of coups.
To address security concerns, Traore recently appointed new heads of the security services, including the National Intelligence Agency, following the arrest of several army officers accused of plotting against the state.
Ouedraogo reassured the public that a thorough investigation would be conducted to shed light on this latest attempted coup.
This incident in Burkina Faso underscores the troubling trend of military leaders seizing power in African nations, with Niger and Gabon experiencing similar developments in the past two years.
The West African nation remains at a critical juncture, teetering between democracy and instability as it grapples with internal and external threats.
French Ambassador Departs Niger Amid Escalating Tensions: Macron’s Pledge to Withdraw Troops Looms
Ambassador Sylvain Itte, along with six colleagues, left Niger’s capital, Niamey, on a flight bound for Paris via Chad.
This departure comes three days after French President Emmanuel Macron confirmed the withdrawal of the French envoy and pledged to withdraw approximately 1,500 French troops stationed in Niger by the end of 2023.
The abrupt exit of Ambassador Itte, as reported by Agence France-Presse, occurred at around 4 a.m. on Wednesday and followed the deterioration of relations between Niger’s military leaders and their former colonial power, France.
The strained relations were primarily triggered by the ousting of President Mohamed Bazoum in a coup on July 26, a coup that led to the severance of military ties between the two nations.
Macron’s initial refusal to adhere to the August 28 deadline set by the junta for Ambassador Itte’s departure only served to heighten the diplomatic standoff.
The junta had cited alleged French “actions contrary to Niger’s interests” as the reason for the ambassador’s expulsion.
In the latest development, the coup leaders formally requested a timeline for the withdrawal of French troops from Niger. Macron had previously confirmed his commitment to completing the withdrawal by the end of 2023, further emphasizing the changing dynamics of the Franco-Nigerien relationship.
On Wednesday, President Macron engaged in talks with Nigerien Foreign Minister Hassoumi Massaoudou, during which he reaffirmed France’s support for President Bazoum and expressed his country’s eagerness to see a return to constitutional order in Niger.
This statement from the Elysee underscores France’s continued involvement in Niger’s internal affairs despite the recent diplomatic tensions.
As both nations navigate these turbulent waters, the future of their diplomatic and military relations remains uncertain.
The departure of Ambassador Itte is just the latest chapter in this evolving saga, and it raises questions about the implications for France’s historical ties to its former colony and its broader strategic interests in the West African region.
G-20 Grants African Union Equal Membership Status to EU
The Group of 20 nations has reached a consensus to confer permanent membership status upon the African Union.
This significant move is aimed at empowering the African continent with a stronger voice in addressing pressing global issues, including climate change and emerging-market debt.
The announcement was made by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who served as the host of the G-20 summit held in New Delhi over a two-day period.
During this historic event, President Azali Assoumani of Comoros, who currently holds the presidency of the African Union, was warmly embraced by Prime Minister Modi and offered a seat at the summit table.
This strategic decision, which has been previously reported by Bloomberg News, grants the 55-member African Union the same prestigious status enjoyed by the European Union within the Group of 20.
European Council President Charles Michel expressed his delight regarding this development in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.
He expressed eagerness for close cooperation between the African Union and the European Union within the framework of the G-20, solidifying the commitment to address global challenges collectively.
News4 weeks ago
Npower Program Restores Hope with Long-Awaited Stipend Disbursement
Commodities4 weeks ago
Three Chinese Groups Vying to Acquire $2 Billion Botswana Copper Mine
News3 weeks ago
Government Plans to Revamp Npower Scheme and Combat Poverty
Banking Sector4 weeks ago
Guaranty Trust Holding Co. Surpasses Expectations with $468 Million Forex Windfall
Forex4 weeks ago
Black Market Dollar to Naira Today, September 7th, 2023
Government4 weeks ago
French Influence Wanes in Africa: Is Macron’s Africa Policy Doomed?
Black Market Rate4 weeks ago
Dollar to Naira Black Market Today, 2nd September 2023
Cryptocurrency4 weeks ago
Ripple Labs Objects to SEC’s Request for Appeal in Landmark Cryptocurrency Case