ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace, and Security, Abdel-Fatau Musah, has revealed that the regional bloc is ready to activate the military option in Niger where a junta deposed democratically-elected president last month.
Army chiefs of the ECOWAS bloc, except that of Burkina Faso, Mali, Guinea and Niger, were in Accra for a two-day conference to decide on activating the bloc’s standby army if dialogue with the junta fails.
Speaking to the press on Friday (August 18), Mr Musah said the standby force was in place, awaiting final orders from Heads of State.
“We are ready to go anytime the order is given,” he told journalists in Accra at the end of deliberations.
“The D-Day is also decided, which we are not going to disclose. There will be no more meetings of the Chiefs of Defence Staff. If there will be, it will be probably in the course of the operation if there is the need to adjust the operation. This is the second extraordinary meeting and the final meeting before deployment.”
Meanwhile, an ECOWAS mission is expected in Niger today (August 19) for talks with the junta on leaving power and returning deposed Mohamed Bazoum to office.
Musah assured that it te military route is taken, it would be done in such a way that it is a quick operation that minimizes casualties.
“If all fails, then we have no option but to go to the final option, which is military intervention, and we hope that it is going to be surgical, it is going to be short-lived to ensure that constitutional order is restored.”