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Newsbreak: Mali, Burkina Faso send fighter Jets to defend Niger against ECOWAS

By Ologeh Joseph Chibu

Mali and Burkina Faso, have taken a significant step by deploying their fighter jets to Niger in response to threats of invasion from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Irohinoodua was informed that Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea have fortified the Niger defense in preparation for possible ECOWAS attack.

The recent development is expected to complicate regional security in the troubled region

The regional body had issued an ultimatum to the Niger junta, demanding the reinstatement of President Mohamed Bazoum within a week. The ultimatum was accompanied by imposition of sanctions and even the deployment of military forces.

However, the coup leaders in Niger remained defiant, showing no intention of yielding to ECOWAS’ demands. They openly challenged the regional bloc’s authority and expressed their determination to resist any form of external intervention.

In light of these developments, the Chiefs of Defence within ECOWAS were given the order to activate the regional military force. The purpose of this activation was to take action aimed at reestablishing a stable and civilian-led governance system in Niger.

In response to the looming military intervention, both Burkina Faso and Mali issued a stern warning. They emphasized that any military action taken in Niger would be viewed as a direct act of aggression against their nations. This stance was encapsulated in a joint statement released by the governments of Burkina Faso and Mali:

“In unity and solidarity, we, the governments of Burkina Faso and Mali, declare that any attempt to initiate military intervention within Niger’s borders shall be interpreted as a declaration of war against our sovereign states. We stand unwaveringly united in our commitment to protecting our interests and preserving regional peace.”

As tensions escalate and the situation remains uncertain, the delicate balance between regional stability and the rights of sovereign nations hangs in the balance. The actions and decisions of the involved parties will undoubtedly shape the future of not only Niger but also the broader West African region

In a joint statement, the administrations of Burkina Faso and Mali said, “The disastrous consequences of a military intervention in Niger could destabilise the entire region,” the statement read.

Concluding a comprehensive two-day assembly of ECOWAS Defence Chiefs in Accra, the capital of Ghana, Abdel-Fatau Musah, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace, and Security, said, “We are ready to go any time the order is given. The D-day is also decided. We’ve already agreed and fine-tuned what will be required for the intervention.”

However, he proclaimed that the option for diplomacy was still available.

“As we speak, we are still readying a mediation mission into the country, so we have not shut any door.”

“Tomorrow there is the possibility of an ECOWAS mission going into Niger to continue to pursue the peaceful path to restoration of constitutional order. We are ready to resolve the issue peacefully but it takes two to tango.”

Niger’s national television unveiled the recent actions taken by Mali and Burkina Faso.

According to a report broadcasted by the television station, military officials from Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mali convened on Friday in the capital city of Niger, Niamey, to deliberate on the course of action “concrete measures” in case ECOWAS chooses to “escalate a war.”

The majority of ECOWAS’s 15 member nations have expressed their willingness to participate in the collaborative force, with the exception of Cape Verde, as well as those currently under military governance – namely, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Guinea.

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