Ivory Coast ready to send troops to Niger

Ivory Coast ready to send troops to Niger

President Alassane Ouattara says country will provide a battalion and has made all financial arrangements for operation

By James Tasamba

KIGALI, Rwanda (AA) – Ivory Coast is ready to provide troops to the regional force to be deployed in Niger in case of military intervention to restore constitutional order, President Alassane Ouattara announced Thursday.

Ouattara spoke in the city of Abidjan after returning from a summit in Nigeria, where leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) resolved Thursday to activate the bloc’s standby force for a possible military response to the recent coup in Niger.

“The Heads of State agreed to deploy troops from a number of countries, including Ivory Coast. Ivory Coast will provide a battalion and has made all financial arrangements for the operation if it is to last three months,” he told a press briefing.

“Provisions will be made at the budgetary level so that our soldiers and officers who will participate in this operation do not lack anything. So Ivory Coast is ready.”

Ouattara said he had instructed the chief of staff of the Ivorian army “to start mobilizing his troops for their participation in this ECOWAS operation.”

Other countries that have expressed their willingness to send troops into Niger include Nigeria, Senegal and Benin.

The military led by Gen. Abdourahamane Tchiani, the former commander of Niger's presidential guard, overthrew President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26.

Tchiani, who declared himself the head of a transitional government after the military coup, unveiled a 21-member Cabinet on Thursday.

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