Niger’s military leaders issued a warning against armed intervention in the country as West African leaders prepare to convene in Nigeria’s capital for an emergency summit on Sunday.
During the meeting, the heads of state from ECOWAS and the West African Economic and Monetary Union may consider measures such as suspending Niger from their institutions, cutting off the country from the regional central bank and financial market, and implementing border closures to exert pressure on the army to restore constitutional order.
Niger, one of the world’s poorest countries, receives significant development assistance annually. It is a security partner for France and the United States, aiding their efforts to combat Islamist insurgency in the wider Sahel region of West and Central Africa.
The recent military coup in Niger has drawn condemnation from its neighbors and international partners, who refuse to recognize the new leaders and demand the restoration of President Mohamed Bazoum to power.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is convening an emergency summit, where they might consider military intervention for the first time to restore President Bazoum. The junta in Niger has warned against any military intervention and called for citizens to protest in support of the new military leaders. The situation remains tense as the international community awaits developments.