By Milcah Tanimu
A collaborative military effort is unfolding as Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger Republic coordinate to establish a united defense strategy in response to ECOWAS’ warnings.
Niger’s state television recently reported that Mali and Burkina Faso have taken a significant step by deploying Super Tucano fighter jets to Niger.
Both nations have strongly conveyed their stance, declaring that any potential military intervention by the regional body, ECOWAS, into the ongoing crisis in Niger would be regarded as an act of war against them.
A joint statement released by Mali and Burkina Faso emphasized the dire potential outcomes of such intervention, warning that it could lead to destabilization across the entire region.
Meanwhile, General Abdourahmane Tiani, leader of the coup in Niger, presented a proposition for a three-year transitional period during discussions with an ECOWAS delegation. However, the details of this transition plan remain undisclosed.
Tiani, addressing the nation on Saturday, August 19, 2023, stated that any aggression against his country would not be as straightforward as some may believe.
In response, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace, and Security, Abdel-Fatau Musah, rejected the extended transition plan put forth by the junta leader. In an interview with the BBC on Sunday, August 20, 2023, Musah emphasized ECOWAS’ stance, asserting that the swift restoration of civilian rule and the focus on safeguarding Niger’s territorial integrity are of paramount importance.
Meanwhile, on Sunday, pro-junta supporters in Niamey took to the streets to demonstrate their backing of the military’s assumption of power in Niger.