ECOWAS Shifts Strategy on Niger Coup: From Military Intervention to Diplomacy

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Shortly after the coup in Niger led by General Tiani, the potential military intervention by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) seemed imminent. Some member countries had even mobilized troops. However, this option has been abandoned, at least for the time being.

In late July, immediately following the coup in Niamey, Bola Tinubu, President of Nigeria and current ECOWAS Chairman, raised the possibility of a military intervention against the junta and garnered almost unanimous support from member states. Benin, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, and Ghana even volunteered to provide troops.

However, President Tinubu swiftly dismissed the military intervention option without consulting some of his counterparts, according to sources. He approached Togo, a country not only against military intervention but advocating for dialogue with the coup leaders. An emissary from President Faure Gnassingbé discreetly visited Nigeria, holding discussions with President Bola Tinubu. Subsequently, the same emissary quietly traveled to Niamey.

Niger officially appointed Togo as a mediator. Some heads of state expressed discontent for not being involved in the change of course and boycotted the recent Abuja summit. Their representatives on-site were instructed to scale back demands, with the primary condition for a gradual lifting of sanctions against Niger being the release of President Mohamed Bazoum.

Soukaina Sghir

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