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Following President Ouattara’s comments, Niger generals recall the envoy from Abidjan


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The military authorities of Niger are in conflict with Cote d’Ivoire.

Following comments made by Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara on Monday, August 14, the coup leaders recalled the Nigerien representative in Abidjan.

According to Ouattara, the leaders of the ECOWAS decided that a military operation should “start as soon as possible” after their meeting on August 10.

“This unusual statement by President Ouattara and his eagerness to carry out an aggression against Niger, which is in every way illegal and senseless, reflect in reality an order addressed to him and certain of his peers in the ECOWAS by other external powers, with the aim of preserving interests that do not align with those of today’s Nige, far from being the expression of the will of the brotherly Ivorian people, whose friendship with the people of Niger is unequivocal.

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Along with Nigeria and Benin, Ouattara stated that Côte d’Ivoire will contribute a battalion of up to 1,000 soldiers.

The leaders of ECOWAS ordered the deployment of a “standby force” last week, but they provided no information on a potential military involvement.

They reiterated their commitment to using diplomacy to bring back President Bazoum.

risky course of action

ECOWAS has mandated the “standby force” for operations including peacekeeping. It has already been put into use in the Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. A risky and challenging military action is not likely, according to experts.

However, according to Marc-André Boisvert, a researcher and consultant on the Sahel linked with the Center FrancoPaix in Montreal, ECOWAS “has never agreed on the type of specific missions that these forces should carry out”.

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According to him, the creation of such a force “depends on the contributors” and “requires extensive negotiations between the countries.” However, he claimed that “there is a lot of mistrust between the countries” of ECOWAS.

Although Senegal, Benin, Nigeria, and Côte d’Ivoire have stated they are prepared to send soldiers, other West African nations have expressed internal opposition and reluctance.

General Mansour Seck of Senegal stated that 3,000 to 4,000 soldiers should be mobilized for such an operation. According to President Bazoum in 2022, the Nigerien army has a strength of about 30,000 personnel, with 11,000 of them serving in the theater of operations.

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The challenge of conducting such a military operation in Niger or its capital is well acknowledged by specialists. A ground invasion would require West African forces to cross hostile territory for several hundred kilometers, and an airstrike on the presidential palace where the overthrown president is being kept has similar concerns.

Analysts believe that in the latter scenario, Niamey airport may be strategically significant for the deployment of airborne troops.

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Staff Writer
Staff Writer
Tell the stories as they are as well as what is hidden in the stories in order to place the true cards on the table.


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