In Niger’s capital Niamey, life is relatively calm after the storm of President Mohamed Bazoum’s overthrow, a month ago.
Despite the stillness, tensions are on the rise.
As Ecowas threatens a military intervention to reinstate Bazoum, neighbouring countries Burkina Faso and Mali have reiterated their support to the ruling junta.
"To this end, they (Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali) agreed to set up a joint secretariat for security issues. They welcomed the signing by the President of the National Council for the Safeguarding of the Motherland, Brig. Gen. Abdurrahman Tchiani, of two orders on August 24, 2023, authorizing the defence and security forces of Burkina Faso and Mali to intervene in Nigerien territory in the event of aggression," stated Oumarou Ibrahim Sidi, Deputy Secretary General of Niger Foreign Ministry.
As a response, ECOWAS told Niger coup leaders on Friday, there was still time to reconsider. The west African regional bloc still threatens a military intervention, but would prefer a more diplomatic approach.
"Even now it is not too late for the military to reconsider its action and listen to the voice of reason as the regional leaders will not condone a coup d’état," shared Omar Alieu Touray, ECOWAS Commission President.
ECOWAS has also rejected a proposal by Niger's junta for a three-year transition to democratic rule, deeming it a "provocation".
Meanwhile, leaders of the bloc are currently negotiating with military administrations in Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea, who are all working towards transitions to democracy.