The leaders of the military coup in Niger said that regional body ECOWAS could stage an imminent military intervention in the capital of the Sahel country.
Speaking on Saturday ahead of an ECOWAS crisis summit on Niger, the junta said: “The aim of this meeting is to approve a plan of aggression against Niger, in the form of an imminent military intervention in Niamey, in cooperation with African countries who are not members of the regional body and certain Western nations.”
The African Union has given the military in Niger two weeks to restore “constitutional authority”.
It condemned the coup in “the strongest terms possible” and expressed deep concern over the “alarming resurgence” of military overthrows in Africa.
The United States — which has about 1,000 troops in Niger — has offered Bazoum Washington’s steadfast support and warned those detaining him that they were “threatening years of successful cooperation and hundreds of millions of dollars of assistance”.
Landlocked Niger often ranks last in the United Nations’ Human Development Index, despite vast deposits of uranium.
It has had a turbulent political history since gaining independence in 1960, with four coups as well as numerous other attempts — including two previously against Bazoum.