Algeria’s President, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, has issued a warning about the potential consequences of a military intervention to reverse the military coup in Niger. Tebboune stated that such an intervention could ignite the entire Sahel region, but Algeria would refrain from using force against its neighbors. Algeria has expressed its commitment to support a return to constitutional order in Niger via diplomatic means. The country shares a 950 km border with Niger.
These comments come ahead of a Sunday deadline set by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for the coup leaders to step down and reinstate the democratically elected President, Mohamed Bazoum. ECOWAS has also stated that military action is being planned if its demands are not met. Niger is currently experiencing its seventh coup in the central or western African region since 2020.
France, Niger’s former colonial ruler, has announced its support for ECOWAS’ efforts to resolve the coup, although it has not clarified whether it supports military action. An ECOWAS delegation recently visited the Nigerien capital, Niamey, but was unable to secure an amicable resolution with the junta leaders.
The military coup in Niger occurred on July 26 and was led by former presidential guard chief Abdourahamane Tchiani, who declared himself the leader of the transitional government. Tchiani has since distanced Niger from France, including informing Emmanuel Macron’s government of its intention to withdraw from military cooperation agreements. In response, Paris rejected the junta’s request, stating that the deals had been previously agreed with Niger’s legitimate authorities.
Chad, a country bordering Niger and not a member of ECOWAS, announced that it would not intervene militarily, expressing concerns about further destabilizing one of the world’s poorest countries.
The situation in Niger is garnering international attention due to its potential impact on the stability of the region. ECOWAS and various countries, including Algeria and France, are exerting diplomatic pressure to ensure a peaceful resolution to the coup. The Sunday deadline set by ECOWAS is a crucial moment that will determine the next steps in resolving the political crisis in Niger.
Regional stability is of utmost importance, given the ongoing security challenges in the Sahel region and the threat posed by extremist groups such as Boko Haram and ISIS. The resolution of the coup in Niger will not only determine the country’s future but also have wider implications for security and stability in West Africa.
Efforts to resolve the crisis diplomatically are continuing, but the possibility of military action remains on the table. The international community is closely monitoring the situation and urging all parties involved to prioritize a peaceful return to constitutional order.