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Niger: ECOWAS chiefs of staff to meet in Ghana on Thursday and Friday

 Niger: ECOWAS chiefs of staff to meet in Ghana on Thursday and Friday
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The chiefs of staff of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will meet in Ghana on Thursday and Friday to discuss a possible military intervention in Niger, regional military sources said on Tuesday, a source at ECOWAS confirmed.

The meeting was due to take place on Saturday, but was postponed for "technical reasons".

It will take place a week after the decision taken by the organisation's leaders to deploy their "standby force" to reinstate Mohamed Bazoum, the president of Niger overthrown by a military coup on 26 July.

While several countries, such as Côte d'Ivoire, have said they are ready to send their armies to Niger, ECOWAS says it wants to give priority to "diplomatic channels".

The idea of military intervention is divisive: political, religious and civil society voices are being raised in northern Nigeria, fearing serious consequences for their country and for the Sahel region, which has been ravaged by jihadist violence.

After refusing several ECOWAS mediations, Niger's military regime welcomed a delegation of Nigerian religious leaders on Saturday.

Following the meeting, the military-appointed Prime Minister, Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine, stressed Niger's "great interest" in "preserving" an "important and historic relationship" with Nigeria and ECOWAS.

But the regime is blowing hot and cold, announcing that it now wants to "prosecute" deposed president Mohamed Bazoum for "high treason".

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