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ECOWAS meeting on Niger crisis put on hold

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ECOWAS meeting on Niger crisis put on hold

The meeting of Chiefs of Staff from ECOWAS bloc countries, initially scheduled for Saturday, August 12, 2023, in Ghana’s capital, Accra, has been indefinitely suspended due to “technical reasons,” according to regional military sources.

The purpose of the meeting was to inform the organization’s leaders about the best strategies for activating and deploying the ECOWAS standby force.

This decision follows ECOWAS’s resolution to assemble its standby force for potential deployment in Niger to reinstate the ousted president, Mohamed Bazoum.

Concerns have risen about Bazoum’s deteriorating conditions in detention, prompting worries about his safety.

READ ALSO: Russia warns ECOWAS against military action in Niger Republic

Despite declaring their intention during an extraordinary meeting in Abuja on August 10, 2023, ECOWAS has not yet disclosed specific details about the force or provided a timetable for action.

Leaders, including President Bola Tinubu, have emphasized their preference for a peaceful resolution.

In a simultaneous development, thousands of pro-coup Nigeriens held a rally near a French military base in the country on Friday.

Demonstrators near the base on the outskirts of the capital, Niamey, chanted slogans such as “Down with France, down with ECOWAS.”

Niger’s junta, led by Gen Abdourahmane Tchiani, has accused France, a close ally of Bazoum, of influencing the hardline stance taken by ECOWAS against the coup.

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