Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security Mr. Abdel-Fatau Musah had said that the date and logistics for military intervention in Niger Republic has been concluded. “The D-day is also decided. We’ve already agreed and fine-tuned what will be required for the intervention”, he told Aljazeera. Defence Chiefs
Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security Mr. Abdel-Fatau Musah had said that the date and logistics for military intervention in Niger Republic has been concluded.
“The D-day is also decided. We’ve already agreed and fine-tuned what will be required for the intervention”, he told Aljazeera.
Defence Chiefs in the sub region concluded their two day strategic meeting in Accra, Ghana on Friday to discuss the deployment of a standby force to Niger as directed by the heads of state.
Although Mr. Musah did not disclose the specific day, stressing that “we are ready to go any time the order is given.”
He, however, said the bloc is still preparing a mediation mission to Niger Republic adding: “so we have not shut any door.”
“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”,Mr Musah stressed.
Heads of state of the sub-regional bloc penultimate Thursday ordered the activation and deployment of a standby force should the military leaders in Niger Republic refuse to return power back to detained president Mohamed Bazoum.
Except Cape Verde, Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea, most of ECOWAS’s 15 member states are prepared to contribute to the joint force, Mr. Musah said.
However, many member states would need the approval of their parliaments to deploy soldiers to Niger Republic. It is unclear how many soldiers each country will send.
Nigeria with the largest military in West Africa is expected to provide the bulk of soldiers needed.
The Nigerian national assembly had earlier opposed troops deployment to Niger Republic although President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is yet to make a specific request for troops deployment.
The Nigerian constitution, however, allows the president to deploy troops even without parliamentary approval which he could seek after deployment.
Section 5(5) of the Nigerian constitution states that :” the President, in consultation with the National Defence Council, may deploy members of the armed forces of the Federation on a limited combat duty outside Nigeria if he is satisfied that the national security is under imminent threat or danger”.
It added that the president shall, within seven days of actual combat engagement, seek the consent of the Senate and the Senate shall thereafter give or refuse the said consent within 14 days.
Many Nigerians have opposed military intervention with some like the influential Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs ( NSCIA) even condemning the sanctions imposed on Niger Republic by ECOWAS in the aftermath of the coup.
Presidential guards led by General Abdourahmane Tchiani, on 26 July,this year arrested Niger Republic’s President Mohamed Bazoum and dissolved the constitution.
In its reaction to the coup, ECOWAS convened an emergency meeting where it imposed economic sanctions on Niger Republic including a seven-day ultimatum to the military leaders to reinstate the ousted president.
The military leaders defied ECOWAS and formed a new government on the eve of the second emergency meeting convened by the bloc.
Last Saturday, a Nigerian delegation of Islamic scholars met with the military leaders for negotiation after which the military leader agreed to dialogue with ECOWAS.