The Commissioner for Political, Peace and Security of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Dr Abdul Fatau Musa, has said that the junta in Niger is playing a cat and mouse game with the community.
He has nonetheless assured, that by all means, democratic rule would be restored in Niger.
“By all means available, constitutional order will be restored,” Dr Fatau stressed.
“If push comes to shove, we are going into Niger with our machinery, we are not going to beg for alms,” he said at the extraordinary meeting ongoing in Accra today Thursday and Friday for army chiefs of some West African states over sending troops to Niger to restore constitutional order.
The meeting follows a decision by the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States to activate a standby force in the crisis-hit West African nation.
The West African bloc had initially given the military junta led by General Abdourahamane Tchiani a seven-day ultimatum to reinstate Mohamed Bazoum as President.
After the ultimatum elapsed, the Authority decided on Thursday, August 10 in Abuja, Nigeria to explore other options including an intervention by stand-by force.
Ghana’s Parliament is reported to have thrown its weight behind a military intervention of a combined force in Niger.
Ivory Coast’s leader Alassane Ouattara, after the Abuja meeting, told reporters that his country has completed financial arrangements to contribute a battalion to the force.
“Cote d’Ivoire will provide a battalion and has made all financial arrangements for the operation if it is to last three months,” President Ouattara said.
“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 Cote d’Ivoire is ready.”
The Committee of Chiefs of Defence Staff’s meeting in Ghana’s military base, Burma Camp, will “finalise plans for the deployment of the Standby Force”.