Burkina Faso and Mali have jointly denounced the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) sanctions imposed on the military junta in Niger. The military governments of Mali and Burkina Faso issued a joint communique on Monday, warning against any military intervention in Niger by the West or other African states. They stated that such intervention would be considered an attack on their own countries.
The joint communique emphasized that any military action against Niger would be seen as a declaration of war against Mali and Burkina Faso. The two countries vowed to withdraw from ECOWAS and take self-defense measures in support of the armed forces and people of Niger in the event of an intervention.
The governments of Mali and Burkina Faso also expressed their concern that a military intervention in Niger could destabilize the entire region, citing the example of the NATO intervention in Libya, which they believe led to the expansion of terrorism in the Sahel and West Africa.
France and the United States currently have a presence in Niger, with 1,500 and 1,100 troops respectively, as well as drone bases. This presence has raised tensions in the region, as external powers have been involved in military operations and counter-terrorism efforts in countries like Niger.
The African Union condemned the coup in Niger and gave the junta 15 days to step down or face punitive measures. ECOWAS issued its own ultimatum, threatening to take all necessary measures, including the use of force, to restore constitutional order in Niger if President Mohamed Bazoum is not reinstated within a week.
Mali and Burkina Faso strongly condemned the sanctions imposed by ECOWAS, calling them illegal, illegitimate, and inhumane. They expressed fraternal solidarity with the Nigerien people who have taken their destiny into their own hands and are asserting their sovereignty.
Both Mali and Burkina Faso have been seeking to sever their ties with former colonial power France and enhance their statehood with support from Russia. However, Russia has denounced the coup in Niger as an anti-constitutional act and called on all parties to refrain from using force.
In a move that garnered support from the local population, General Tchiani’s government announced the suspension of uranium and gold exports to France. Niger is the world’s seventh-largest producer of uranium, with about 4% of global output controlled by a French company.
The situation in Niger and the potential for military intervention have heightened tensions in the region. The governments of Mali and Burkina Faso are determined to protect their neighboring country and have issued a strong warning against any external interference. The international community will be closely watching the developments to ensure stability and adherence to democratic principles in the region.