Military leaders in Niger have warned against any armed intervention in the country, ahead of the ECOWAS Special meeting on Sunday in Abuja.
The Heads of State of the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the eight-member West African Economic and Monetary Union are set to meet in Nigeria for an emergency summit to decide on further actions to pressure the army to restore constitutional order after a coup last week.
The West African coalition could suspend Niger from their institutions and cut off the country from the regional central bank and the financial market, or close borders.
It is understood that the West African leaders are focused on ways to restore President Mohamed Bazoum who was ousted when Gen Abdourahamane Tchiani was declared the new head of state.
Ahead of Sunday’s summit, the coup leaders in Niger, in a statement on Saturday night, warned against any military intervention.
The statement read by the spokesman of the coup leaders, Colonel Amadou Abdramane, reads, “The objective of the [ECOWAS] meeting is to approve a plan of aggression against Niger through an imminent military intervention in Niamey in collaboration with other African countries that are non-members of ECOWAS, and certain western countries.
“We want to once more remind ECOWAS or any other adventurer, of our firm determination to defend our homeland.”
The junta also asked the citizens in the capital to take to the streets from 7am local time to protest against ECOWAS and show support for the new military leaders.
Naija News reports that the military coup in Niger has been widely condemned by its neighbours and international partners who have refused to recognise the new leaders and have demanded that Bazoum be restored to power.
Bazoum has not been heard from since early Thursday when he was confined within the presidential palace, although the European Union, France and others say they still recognise him as the legitimate president and he has been able to speak to some international leaders
ADULAWO NEWS recalls that the African Union (AU), after an emergency meeting on Friday, issued a statement demanding that the military return to their barracks and restore constitutional order within 15 days.
Also, the European Union (EU) and France, on Saturday, suspended financial support and cooperation on security with Niger.
The announcement will be a severe blow to Niger, which has been a major recipient of Western aid, including from the EU and the United States of America.