In a decisive move, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has announced a scheduled date for a military intervention in Niger, aimed at restoring constitutional rule amidst the ongoing political turmoil. The ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace, and Security, Abdel-Fatau Musah, disclosed that while the exact day remains undisclosed, preparations for the intervention have been meticulously planned and agreed upon by the participating member states’ defense chiefs. The decision follows a two-day gathering of defense chiefs in Accra, Ghana, where discussions centered on the deployment of a standby force to Niger as instructed by the regional bloc’s heads of state.
This intervention comes as a response to the military junta’s reluctance in relinquishing power to the detained President Mohamed Bazoum. The ECOWAS bloc has collectively resolved to resort to force if diplomatic negotiations fail to reinstate constitutional governance. However, Mr. Musah emphasized that diplomatic channels are not closed, and a mediation mission is still in the works, underscoring the bloc’s commitment to exploring peaceful solutions.
The intervention readiness demonstrates the unity and resolve of ECOWAS member states, with the majority of its 15 nations prepared to contribute to the joint military effort. The commitment, however, might require parliamentary approval in many cases, as indicated by Mr. Musah. Notably, Nigeria, with its substantial military capacity in the region, is anticipated to play a significant role in the intervention. Despite prior opposition from the Nigerian parliament regarding troop deployment to Niger, the nation’s constitution allows the president to authorize such actions without parliamentary consent, subject to subsequent review.
Section 5(5) of the Nigerian constitution outlines the president’s authority to deploy armed forces abroad when there’s an immediate threat to national security. However, it stipulates that within seven days of engagement, the president must seek the Senate’s consent. The Senate then has 14 days to grant or deny approval, a procedure designed to uphold democratic checks and balances.
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As tensions rise and the situation in Niger remains fluid, the ECOWAS military intervention becomes an increasingly pertinent topic on the international stage. The deployment’s outcome will undoubtedly have ripple effects across the West African region and beyond, potentially setting a precedent for handling political crises in the future.
Source: Premium Times
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