Niger Junta Puts Troops On Alert In Anticipation of Nigeria Attack


The junta in Niger has ordered its armed forces to go on highest alert in anticipation of any attack.

The junta cited an increased threat of attack, according to an internal document issued by its defence chief on Friday.

The document, sighted by Reuters on Saturday, said the order to be on maximum alert would allow forces to respond adequately in case of any attack and “avoid a general surprise”.

“Threats of aggression to the national territory are increasingly being felt,” it said.

The West African bloc ECOWAS has been trying to negotiate with the leaders of the July 26 coup, but has said it is ready to deploy troops to restore constitutional order if diplomatic efforts fail.

Speaking at a press conference on Friday, the bloc which said it was not planning to invade Niger, added that it was “determined to bend backwards to accommodate diplomatic efforts.”

“For the avoidance of doubt, let me state unequivocally that ECOWAS has neither declared war on the people of Niger, nor is there a plan, as it is being purported, to invade the country, ECOWAS Commission President Omar Alieu Touray told reporters.

The ECOWAS however said the use of force to restore a democratic government remain the last option.

The bloc had earlier in August activated a standby force for a possible intervention.

I’ll advance Nigeria’s interest – Tinubu

Meanwhile, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has said that he is not taking cue from any nation, but will only advance the interest of the Nigerian state in his approach toward ECOWAS’ handling of the regional standoff, particularly in Niger Republic.

The president said this yesterday when he received U.S. Presidential Envoy & Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Ambassador Molly Phee, at the State House, Abuja.

He said the crisis in Niger Republic would not deter him from concluding his economic reform programme successfully for the benefit of Nigerians.

“We are deep in our attempts to peacefully settle the issue in Niger by leveraging on our diplomatic tools. I continue to hold ECOWAS back, despite its readiness for all options, in order to exhaust all other remedial mechanisms. War is not ideal for my economic reforms, nor for the region, but the defense of democracy is sacrosanct. The ECOWAS consensus is that we will not allow anyone to insincerely buy time,” Tinubu said.

The president tasked US special envoy on deepening cooperation and defence of democracy in West Africa.

Tinubu, in a statement by his spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, advised Ambassador Phee to ensure that U.S. policy is intentionally collaborative with independent African democracies at a time when they are under assault by anti-democratic forces within and outside of the continent.

The president noted that American-backed development finance and multilateral institutions, which were designed to support war-torn Europe after World War II, require swift and comprehensive reform to meet the developmental requirements of younger democracies in Africa, which operate in authoritarian-crowded environments.

“Yes, the private sector will lead the way within an enabling environment we create for them, but the U.S. Government must be innovative in its thinking and systematically create incentives for U.S. industrial investment in Nigeria. Under my leadership, Nigeria stands ready to address their specific regulatory, tax and environmental concerns. I am determined to create prosperity for all Nigerian families,” the president said.

Pledging its support for the position of ECOWAS, the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy expressed the high regard the U.S. Administration has for the leadership of the Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, President Bola Tinubu, and extended an exclusive invitation from U.S. President Joe Biden to meet on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City to advance discussions further in late September.

He said, “We know there is more we can do to incentivise large-scale American investment in Nigeria and we are committed to working closely with you to achieve that, as part of efforts to strengthen the Nigerian economy and the regional economy. We appreciate your willingness to create an enabling environment for that.”r

In a related development, there was confusion from Niger Republic over the fate of Mohamed Usman, Nigeria’s ambassador to the country.

On Friday, Niger’s foreign affairs ministry reportedly released a statement, ordering the expulsion of Usman alongside some Western diplomats.

The statement said: “In reaction to Nigerian Ambassador Mohamed Usman’s refusal to reply to an invitation by the ministry for a discussion on Friday August 25 at 11.30am, and due to other actions of the Nigerian government contrary to Niger’s interests, the ministry is giving 48 hours to Mr. Mohamed Usman to leave the Nigerien territory.”

Same reason was also given for the expulsion of the German Ambassador to Niger.

Earlier, Niger’s military administration also gave the French ambassador, Sylvain Itte, 48 hours to leave the country.

But in yet another statement, the foreign affairs ministry denied the first memo.

“Contrary to the information deliberately distilled on social networks which report a decision by the Nigerien authorities ordering the Ambassadors of Germany, Nigeria and the United States of America to leave Nigerien territory within 48 hours, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation, African Integration and Nigeriens Abroad specifies that the said information is false and that only the Ambassador of France in Niger is declared persona non grata.”

“Also, the ministry reminds those who are agitated and still doubt the expression of its sovereign will, that Niger does not need an authorisation or an interpretation of the Vienna Convention of 1961, to exercise its prerogatives and have Ambassador Sylvain ITTE leave, after this 48-hour period ubur D Done in Niamey on August 25.”

A source in the Nigerian embassy in Niger revealed that the junta was not aware of the expulsion of Usman.

The source said the military regime that ousted the government of President Mohamed Bazoum exactly a month ago was embarrassed by the reports.

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  1. Instead of using our money to attack Niger baba pls use it to pay fir su subsidy so that Nigerians will suvive


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