President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has stated that Türkiye will seek to play a crucial role in restoring democratic order in Niger, where a military coup took place last month. This announcement comes as the regional bloc of West African nations, ECOWAS, contemplates military intervention and imposes sanctions in response to the coup. President Erdogan described ECOWAS’s plans to deploy troops against Niger’s coup leaders as “unacceptable” during a briefing on his return from Hungary on his presidential plane.
ECOWAS has been calling for the release of ousted President Mohamed Bazoum and the reinstatement of his rule in Niger. However, President Erdogan expressed his opposition to military intervention in Niger, fearing that it would spread instability to other African countries. He warned that such an intervention could have far-reaching consequences and should be avoided.
ECOWAS has prepared a “standby force” to be deployed in Niamey, the capital of Niger, if diplomatic efforts fail to reverse the coup. This force would serve as a last resort to restore democratic order in the country. Despite the preparations, President Erdogan’s objection to military intervention still stands.
President Erdogan emphasized Turkey’s commitment to supporting Niamey and expressed his belief that the people of Niger would strive to maintain democracy and hold elections as soon as possible. He stated that talks are ongoing within Turkey’s foreign ministry to determine the country’s role in resolving the conflict in Niger in a friendly and brotherly manner.
Recently, ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace, and Security, Abdel-Fatau Musah, announced that a potential date for military intervention in Niger had been agreed upon. He revealed that the bloc was actively engaging with Niger’s military rulers to resolve the crisis peacefully. However, the crisis remains unresolved as the standby force is being assembled.
In an effort to find a diplomatic solution, a peace delegation from ECOWAS met with Niger’s military rulers in Niamey on Saturday. General Abdourahamane Tchiani, the leader of the new military government, expressed confidence in working with ECOWAS to find a resolution. However, he proposed a transition to civilian rule over a three-year period, which was rejected by ECOWAS.
ECOWAS officials stressed the necessity of a swift return to civilian rule and criticized the coup leaders’ proposed timeline. They warned that the sooner power is returned to civilians, the better it would be for the coup leaders themselves. With only Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea, and Chad not providing troops, all other member states of ECOWAS are willing to contribute to the standby force.
President Erdogan’s statement on Turkey’s potential role in resolving the crisis in Niger aligns with his country’s commitment to democracy and stability. As tensions increase and the possibility of military intervention looms, Turkey is actively exploring ways to support Niamey in achieving a peaceful resolution to the coup. However, the situation remains uncertain as regional powers and ECOWAS continue their efforts to restore democratic order in Niger.