BREAKING: ECOWAS leaders to meet Thursday after expiration of deadline to Niger junta

The leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will reconvene on Thursday to discuss the crisis in Niger Republic.


ECOWAS made the announcement on Monday — a day after its deadline to the military junta in Niger to reinstate the ousted President Mohamed Bazoum.


“President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and chairman of the authority of Heads of state and Government of the Economic Community of the ECOWAS leaders will be considering and discussing the political situation and recent developments in Niger during the summit,” the organisation said in a statement on Monday.


The summit will hold in Abuja, the ECOWAS headquarters.


The meeting comes amid uncertainty about the bloc’s possible military military intervention to restore democracy in Niger.


Tinubu, the ECOWAS chairperson, had vowed to do everything possible to reinstate the ousted Bazoum.


However, the regional body’s resolve to use force, even as a last option, has been met with heavy backlash from other foreign countries, global organisations, and concerned individuals.


Analysts say any military invasion by ECOWAS into Niger would snowball into a full-scale war especially as Burkina Faso and Mali had backed the coup.


Burkina Faso and Mali have warned that they would take up arms in self-defence if there are any foreign interventions in the landlocked West African country.


As the deadline approached on Sunday, thousands of supporters of the military junta in Niger gathered at a stadium to show support for the regime.


The Northern Senators Forum (NSF) had asked Tinubu to exhaust all diplomatic means in resolving the crisis in Niger.


The forum warned that deploying Nigerian troops to the Niger Republic will hurt seven northern states —Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina, Zamfara, Jigawa, Yobe and Borno — sharing borders with the country.


Recall that the president met with governors of five of the states that share boundaries with Niger as part of wider consultations on the political instability in Niger.

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