West African military chiefs held a second day of talks in Ghana on Friday, preparing for a possible armed intervention in Niger after a coup there ousted President Mohamed Bazoum.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has agreed to activate a “standby force” as a last resort to restore democracy in Niger after generals toppled and detained Bazoum last month.
ECOWAS defence chiefs were meeting in the Ghanaian capital Accra to fine tune details of the potential military operation to restore Bazoum if ongoing negotiations with coup leaders fail.
“Let no one be in doubt that if everything else fails the valiant forces of West Africa, both the military and the civilian components, are ready to answer to the call of duty,” Abdel-Fatau Musah, an ECOWAS commissioner for political affairs and security, told the meeting on Thursday.
“Meanwhile, we are still giving diplomacy a chance and the ball is in the court of the junta.”The two-day Accra meeting will conclude on Friday when the defence chiefs are expected to announce any next steps at a closing ceremony at 1600 GMT.