West African leaders make plan for military intervention in Niger

West African defense chiefs have made a plan for potential military intervention to reverse last week’s coup in Niger, including how and when to deploy forces, a leader of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) said on Friday.

Speaking at a meeting in Nigeria’s capital Abuja they said they wanted to “make an example of Niger,” end coups in the region, and prove to Niger’s leaders that ECOWAS was not all talk and no action.

The regional bloc will not divulge to the coup plotters when and where it will strike. That decision that will be taken by the heads of state, said Abdel-Fatau Musah, ECOWAS commissioner for political affairs, peace, and security.

”There is a steely determination by our heads of state and governments to put an end to it and make an example of Niger to make sure that never again are we going to allow the disruption of the region’s move towards democratic consolidation in our region. That is the determination,” Musah said.

“ECOWAS is not going to tell the coup plotters when and where we are going to strike. That is an operational decision to be taken by the heads of states who are going to be like the commanders in chief of this operation,” he added.

ECOWAS has already imposed sanctions on Niger and said it could authorize the use of force if the coup leaders do not restore power to elected President Mohamed Bazoum by a Sunday (August 6) deadline.