West African military leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are set to convene in Ghana’s capital, Accra, on Thursday to deliberate on potential actions concerning the coup in Niger.
The meeting comes a week after ECOWAS said a standby force could be used to resolve the crisis in Niger.
Since 26 July, when the armed junta seized power, President Mohamed Bazoum, along with his wife and son, has been confined to house arrest.
With the backing of France and the US, ECOWAS has urged the coup leaders to reinstate the democratically elected president.
This meeting, initially scheduled for 12 August, had been postponed and will finally take place on 17 and 18 August in Accra, the Ghanaian capital, according to a regional military source and a source within ECOWAS.
Meanwhile, Sierra Leone has confirmed its commitment to send troops to Niger as part of the ECOWAS Standing Force.
Chernor Bah, Sierra Leone’s Minister of Information, told Politico that Sierra Leone is set to support the force intended to restore the displaced president in Niger. He mentioned, “Sierra Leone has always promised to provide soldiers to the ECOWAS standing force. Our commitment remains unchanged. We’re poised to support ECOWAS by deploying a company of soldiers equipped to execute any sanctioned mission.”
While Bah refrained from specifying the exact troop numbers, he indicated that a company could range from 100 to 300 soldiers. He noted, “The final troop count will be determined by the evaluation of ECOWAS defense leaders and mission requirements.”
Bah emphasized Sierra Leone’s ethical responsibility to the regional assembly, saying, “Having been on the receiving end of ECOWAS’s efforts for peace and democracy, we deeply recognize our duty within this consortium.”
It’s noteworthy that ECOWAS played a pivotal role in restoring Sierra Leone’s democratically elected President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah after a 1997 coup and ending its war.