Tinubu's Niger Military Intervention: What To Expect
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Politics - August 9, 2023

Tinubu’s Niger Military Intervention: What To Expect

President Bola Tinubu’s threat of military intervention in Niger has not been ruled out. This was disclosed by his spokesman Ajuri Ngelale ahead of a West African coalition’s crisis summit in Abuja on Thursday.

Tinubu’s spokesman also noted that the President believes diplomacy is the “best way forward” to resolve the crisis. Ngelale said, “No options have been taken off of the table.”

This comes as efforts by the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS and the United States to convince Niger’s new rulers to hand back power to the democratically elected leader have amounted to nothing.

The soldiers defied Tinubu’s deadline to reinstate President Mohamed Bazoum or face the possible use of force and have been unswayed by negotiations, instead staging a rally at a stadium in the capital Niamey.

What you need to know

The ruling military blocked an ECOWAS delegation sent ahead of Thursday’s crisis summit. The military said public “anger” triggered by the bloc’s sanctions meant the delegation’s safety could be at risk.

Recall that ECOWAS had earlier imposed trade and financial sanctions on Niger after the rebel soldiers toppled Bazoum.

What is Happening in Niger

Leaders of Niger’s military recently announced the appointment of Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine as the new prime minister. This comes as a further show of defiance and possible intent to hold on to power.

Also, the military leaders in Mali and Burkina Faso have expressed solidarity with Niger, saying any military intervention would be seen as a “declaration of war” against them.

Their solidarity message was contained in letters sent to the United Nations and the African Union. Both countries called on them to prevent “military intervention against Niger” where the security and humanitarian consequences of such action “would be unpredictable”.

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