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Mali, Burkina Faso vow to defend Niger from ECOWAS invasion



Mali is one of several West African countries battling violent insurgencies linked to al Qaeda

The military heads of state of Mali and Burkina Faso have issued a threat to withdraw their ECOWAS membership and rise in support of Niger’s military government in the case of an invasion by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

In a joint statement issued on Monday, the two countries whose soldiers had recently ceased power voiced their solidarity for the military seizure of power in Niger earlier this month, vowing to cooperate and “lend a hand to the people of Niger” to fight invaders.

They warned that “any military intervention against Niger would amount to a declaration of war against Burkina Faso and Mali,” the statement said.

They also stated that an invasion of Niger would result in their immediate departure from ECOWAS as well as the implementation of self-defense measures in support of Niger’s military forces and people.

Mali and Burkina Faso condemned ECOWAS and its leaders, accusing them of hypocrisy.

“The Transitional Governments of Burkina Faso and Mali are deeply indignant and surprised by the imbalance observed between, on the one hand, the celerity and the adventurous attitude of certain political leaders in West Africa wishing to use force armed forces to restore constitutional order in a sovereign country and, on the other hand, the inaction, indifference, and passive complicity of these organizations and political leaders in helping States and peoples who have been victims of terrorism for a decade and left to their fate,” the statement added.


This comes after ECOWAS decided over the weekend to leave military options open for Niger if the coup plotters do not hand over power to democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum and return to their barracks. ECOWAS also threatened to halt all trade with Niger, including banking and electricity supply, as well as close the country’s airspace.

On July 27, Mr. Bazoum was removed from office. Soldiers promptly declared an indefinite curfew and border closures.

Among other things, the Juntas stated that their reason for taking over power was to “put an end to the regime that you know due to the deteriorating security situation and bad governance.”

This development, however, has been strongly criticized by international communities, including the United States of America, the United Nations, and ECOWAS, which is led by Nigerian President Bola Tinubu.

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