The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has planned a new meeting to discuss the coup in the Niger Republic now that the military junta’s initial deadline has passed.
Recall that ECOWAS had met in Abuja in August, where a 7-day deadline was issued for the Niger junta to reinstate ousted President Mohamed Bazoum or risk sanctions, including possible military intervention.
Rather, the junta responded by cutting ties with Nigeria and some other countries sympathetic to the ousted president’s cause rather than reinstate the deposed Niger leader.
The military junta, which declared their Commander General, Abdourahamane Tchiani, the new head of state, vowed not to bow to outside pressure.
It also cautioned against foreign intervention, vowing to defend the territorial integrity of Niger.
On Friday, the military chiefs of some West African countries said they had agreed on a plan for possible military intervention in the event the push for a diplomatic solution failed.
The chiefs of defense staff from Togo, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Guinea Bissau, Gambia, Cote d’Ivoire, Cabo Verde, and the Republic of Benin held the meeting in Abuja.
ECOWAS had last week sent a high-powered delegation to broker peace with the coupists, but their representatives met with the team led by former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd).
On Monday, President Bola Tinubu, who is chairman of ECOWAS, sent a notice of a meeting scheduled for Thursday in Abuja.
A statement issued by ECOWAS reads, “President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), has convened another Extraordinary Summit of the Authority on the political situation in the Republic of Niger. The Summit will be held in Abuja on Thursday, August 10, 2023.
“The ECOWAS Leaders will be considering and discussing the political situation and recent developments in Niger during the Summit.”