Burkina Faso and Mali Back Niger Junta, Warn ECOWAS

Any military involvement in Niger to reinstall deposed President Mohamed Bazoum would be a “declaration of war against Burkina Faso and Mali,” the two countries stated in a joint statement on Monday.

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The governments of Niger’s two neighbors, both of which were the consequence of recent military coups, made the remarks after West African leaders vowed to use “force” to restore Bazoum and imposed financial penalties on the putschists.

“Any military intervention against Niger would be tantamount to a declaration of war against Burkina Faso and Mali,” the two countries warned.

They said the “disastrous consequences of a military intervention in Niger… could destabilise the entire region”.

The two also said they “refuse to apply” the “illegal, illegitimate and inhumane sanctions against the people and authorities of Niger”.

Guards chief General Abdourahamane Tchiani has declared himself leader of Niger — but his claim has been shunned internationally and the West African bloc ECOWAS has given him a week to hand back power, HowAfrica reported.

Niger is the third Sahel country in less than three years, following Mali and Burkina Faso, to be shaken by a military coup.

In a separate statement, Guinea — whose government was also the result of a coup — expressed its “disagreement with the sanctions recommended by ECOWAS, including military intervention”.

It said it had “decided not to apply these sanctions, which it considers illegitimate and inhumane”, and urged ECOWAS to “reconsider its position”.


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