Amid escalating tensions, the military regime in Niger Republic has issued a daring challenge to leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) following the bloc’s resolution to deploy troops to Niger in an effort to confront the regime and reinstate ousted President Mohamed Bazoum.
Reports reveal that the military junta has even gone so far as to threaten the assassination of President Bazoum, coinciding with ECOWAS’ troop deployment plans for the country.
According to sources, two “Western officials” disclosed that the putschists conveyed this threat during discussions with a senior U.S. diplomat. An anonymous Western military official, citing the sensitivity of the situation, disclosed that representatives of the junta conveyed the threat to U.S. Under Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland, during her recent visit to Niger.
In response to these developments, ECOWAS leaders from nine member countries convened in Abuja for an extraordinary session. During the gathering, President of the ECOWAS Commission, Omar Alieu Touray, reaffirmed the collective decision by military authorities within the sub-region to assemble a standby force.
Touray underscored that the financing aspects had been addressed and emphasized, “This is not a conflict between one country and another; rather, the entire community is acting in accordance with the instruments subscribed to by all its members.”
Despite the resolute stance of ECOWAS and its intentions to deploy a regional force, the audacious response from the Niger military regime raises concerns about potential further escalation in the ongoing political crisis.