Burkina Faso and Mali have deployed warplanes to the Niger Republic following the Economic Community of West Africa’s possible armed intervention to restore ousted president Bazoum.
Niger television station reported joint efforts by Mali and Burkina Faso to support Niger and the deployment of warplanes within Niger’s borders on Friday.
“Mali and Burkina Faso turned their commitments into concrete action by deploying warplanes to respond to any attack on Niger,” it said, noting the planes were Super Tucano fighter jets.
The coup leaders imprisoned President Mohamed Bazoum on June 26. They dissolved the elected government of Niger, a major uranium producer and a Western ally, in the fight against an Islamist insurgency.
On July 30, ECOWAS, led by Nigerian President Bola Tinubu, decided on sanctions against the military personnel in Niger and gave a week ultimatum to the military junta to restore ousted Bazoum to office.
After the one-week ultimatum expired, West African leaders met on August 10 and approved a “standby force” to reinstate elected Bazoum.
The coupists had called the bluff of ECOWAS and vowed to resist foreign intervention.
Subsequently, ECOWAS Defence Chiefs were ordered to activate the region’s force for action to restore civil rule in Niger, noting that it would invade the country on “D-Day.”
But the Mali and Burkina Faso military governments called ECOWAS’s bluff, saying an armed intervention in Niger would be met with force.
The television station said the Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger military leaders convened Friday in Niamey’s Nigerien capital to decide on “concrete measures” if ECOWAS chooses to “escalate a war.”