In an escalating standoff over the political crisis triggered by the coup that ousted President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26, Niger’s top diplomat has revealed that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is resolute in its determination to take military action if the putschists fail to relinquish power and restore civilian rule. Foreign Minister Hassoumi Massoudou’s remarks were published in the Spanish newspaper El Pais on Friday, shedding light on the increasing tensions in the region.

ECOWAS’s Diplomatic Efforts Reach a Critical Juncture as Military Intervention Looms

ECOWAS, a regional bloc comprising fifteen West African countries, has been working diligently to resolve the crisis in Niger through diplomatic means, but their patience appears to be wearing thin. The organization imposed heavy economic sanctions on Niger following the coup and has repeatedly emphasized the possibility of military intervention if negotiations fail.

ECOWAS is determined to carry out a military intervention,” stated Minister Massoudou during the interview.

This stern stance from ECOWAS comes as neighboring Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu, who also chairs ECOWAS, suggested a nine-month transition period for Niger’s new regime to return to democracy. He cited Nigeria’s successful transition in 1999 as an example.

However, Niger’s military leaders have insisted on a three-year transition period to restore constitutional order, setting the stage for a deadlock in negotiations. Minister Massoudou explained, “So far, ECOWAS has opted for the diplomatic route, which is normal. But if all negotiations fail, it can only offer a military solution.”