NIGER: INCREASED LIKELIHOOD OF ECOWAS INTERVENTION WILL COMPOUND RISK OF DOMESTIC CLASHES
11 AUGUST 2023
Late on 10 August, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) announced the activation of a standby force for a possible deployment to Niger to re-instate deposed President Mohamed Bazoum.
- Niger’s military government has repeatedly rejected ECOWAS’ demands to re-instate Bazoum, who is currently detained at the Presidential Palace in the capital Niamey; ECOWAS’ standby force likely consists of around 25,000 troops primarily drawn from Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria and Senegal.
- General Abdourahamane (Omar) Tchiani’s control over Niger’s military remains highly tenuous; while the National Army declared its support for the coup to ‘avoid bloodshed’, the National Guard reportedly remains loyal to Bazoum.
- Public support for the military government remains highly divided; while the junta enjoys moderate support in Niamey, it has struggled to consolidate a broader support base, particularly among rural communities and Niger’s Tuareg population.
Negotiations between ECOWAS and Niger’s junta are unlikely to resolve tensions, increasing the likelihood of the former’s intervention.............
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