Military leaders in Niger have recalled their country’s ambassador, following declaration of support for armed action against the junta by Ivorian President, Alassane Ouattara.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) had said troops could be deployed to oust the junta and restore democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum.
Spokesman for the junta, Colonel Amadou Abdramane, said the ambassador had returned to the capital, Niamey, for consultations.
In his address, which was aired on national television, Abdramane said Ouattara’s wish was to see illegal and senseless aggression against Niger enforced, RFI reported.
Ouattara’s remarks came after he returned to Cote d’Ivoire from a summit in Nigeria, where leaders of the 15-nation ECOWAS decided to activate the bloc’s standby force for a possible military response to the coup.
“The heads of state agreed to deploy troops from a number of countries, including Côte d’Ivoire. Côte d’Ivoire will provide a battalion and has made all financial arrangements for the operation, if it is to last three months.
“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, Côte d’Ivoire is ready,” Ouattara said.
RFI said in the report that it is understood that Cote d’Ivoire would provide a battalion of between 850 and 1,100 troops.
This was as Russian President, Vladimir Putin, yesterday, stressed the importance of a peaceful resolution of the situation.
This came in a phone conversation with Mali’s military leader, Assimi Goita, who made this known on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.
Putin has called for a return to constitutional order in Niger, while Wagner chief, Yevgeny Prigozhin, welcomed the coup.
Also, chiefs of staff of ECOWAS would be meeting in Ghana tomorrow and Friday to discuss military intervention in Niger, regional military sources said yesterday.
A source at ECOWAS confirmed the meeting was due to take place on Saturday, but was postponed for “technical reasons”.
It will take place a week after the decision taken by the organisation’s leaders to deploy their “standby force” to reinstate Bazoum, who was overthrown by a military coup on July 26.
While several countries, such as Côte d’Ivoire, have said they are ready to send their armies to Niger, ECOWAS says it wants to give priority to “diplomatic channels”.