Niger junta threatens to attack member country of ECOWAS
Move comes after ECOWAS set deadline of Sunday for junta to reinstate President Bazoum and threatened to use force
By Fatma Esma Arslan
DAKAR, Senegal (AA) – Niger’s recently installed junta has threatened to attack a member country of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) if the West African bloc intervenes militarily in the country.
Amadou Abdramane, the spokesperson for the National Council for the Safeguarding of the Country, made the remarks while reading a declaration on state television announcing the recall of the country’s ambassadors in Paris, Abuja, Lome and Washington.
"Any aggression or attempted aggression against the State of Niger will see an immediate and unannounced response from the Niger Defense and Security Forces on one of (the bloc's) members," he said.
This came with "the exception of suspended friendly countries,” he added, alluding to Guinea, Mali and Burkina Faso.
Nigeria is the current ECOWAS chair and has vowed a firm response against coups.
Calling on society to be careful about the armies and agents of foreign countries, Abdramane urged the Nigerien people to inform officials about any suspicious incidents.
All military cooperation and protocols have been terminated with France, said the declaration.
On Wednesday, the US ordered the evacuation of all non-emergency government personnel from its embassy in Niger amid fears of growing conflict.
European countries, including France, have evacuated their nationals.
On July 26, President Mohamed Bazoum was detained by members of the Presidential Guard, and that evening, the military announced that it had seized power.
Gen. Abdourahamane Tchiani, the commander of Niger's presidential guard, declared himself the head of a transitional government two days after deposing Bazoum.
ECOWAS issued a one-week deadline to Niger's junta on Sunday to return the country to normal and release Bazoum, who was democratically elected in 2021.
The West African bloc has threatened to use force, and its defense chiefs have met in Nigeria to discuss this.
*Writing by Merve Berker
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