Military leaders from the West African regional bloc, Ecowas, are convening in Accra, Ghana, over Thursday and Friday to discuss the potential deployment of a standby force aimed at restoring democracy in Niger.
Approximately 11 out of the 15 Ecowas member states support this military intervention to reinstate democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum, as diplomatic efforts have proven ineffective. However, three Ecowas nations currently under military rule – Mali, Burkina Faso, and Guinea – are backing the junta instead.
The coup leaders in Niger have issued a warning that they will defend themselves against any intervention. The discussions during the meeting will center on resources, required troop numbers, and a standard operating procedure for combat troops.
Notably, Ghana and Nigeria have previously led interventions within Ecowas, including efforts in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and more recently in The Gambia.
The meeting occurs amidst a deteriorating security situation in Niger, with a recent ambush by Islamist militants resulting in the loss of 17 soldiers and injuring 20 others on Tuesday.