Today the ECOWAS mandate on the Niger army is being fulfilled, what is the next step?

While the seven-day deadline given by the ECOWAS group to the soldiers who felt the coup in Niger to return power to the deposed president Mohamed Bazoum is coming to an end, both sides are struggling to take the next step on this crisis.

On Sunday evening last week, the leader of the group and the president of Nigeria, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, announced that he had given the army seven days to return the country to civilians or take military action themselves.

The army has already been subjected to a series of sanctions, and the electricity they get from Nigeria has been cut off, and the borders have been closed, which means that nothing will be brought into the country and they will not be exported.

As the political and diplomatic pressure increases, what will happen after the deadline?

Will the deadline be extended?

One of the options available to Ecowas leaders is to extend the deadline.

But this has the risk of prolonging the matter, but both parties can say that since the diplomatic negotiations are ongoing, it is better to extend the deadline.

The problem that is being faced now is that the intervention that Ecowas is doing has not been successful. The delegation that was sent to Niger from Nigeria on Thursday went and returned in a short time without achieving anything.

On the other hand, the army also took action similar to that of Ecowas, by announcing the severance of relations with Nigeria, Togo, the United States and France, and announced the termination of the military agreement between them and France, which gave the lady she allowed to deploy 1,500 soldiers in the country.

As for President Bazoum, who is being detained, he used a harsh language to explain his situation in an article he wrote in the Washington Post newspaper where he said that he was living as someone who was “shielded” from him.

This made him seek the help of the United States and other countries in order to return the country to the path of democracy.

On Friday, the United States announced that it would provide aid to the government of Niger, but it will continue to provide security aid.

Plan how to return power to civilians

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In order to ease things and seek interests, both the Niger Army and Ecowas can agree to sit down and plan how to transfer power to civilians soon.

This could include the release of President Bazoum who is in the hands of the army, along with some of his political friends who were arrested after the coup.

This can reduce the fire that is burning in the hearts of those who are against God and the coup wherever they are in the African continent and the whole world.

The Ecowas group has agreed to plan how to transfer power to civilians in Mali and Burkina Faso, which are neighboring Niger, which were recently ruled by the military.

All the negotiations that are being done with them are problematic, and there is still no certainty about the transfer of power to civilians, in short, there is no certainty whether they will hand over.

Sudan, which formed a military-civilian coalition government in 2019, was supposed to pave the way for the region’s return to democracy after the coup, but it has caused some confusion.

And in the current state of the country falling into a terrible conflict between the opposing armies, it has created fear in the hearts of the soldiers who made the coup to form a coalition government.

Attack of the army

Ecowas did not say that it will use the military if Bazoum is not returned to power, but left it as a rhetorical question.

Nigerian officials described the situation as a “last resort”.

President Tinubu said that the military can be used “to harass the coup forces in Niger as long as they refuse to follow their orders”.

ECOWAS has used its forces to return countries to governance in the past, for example in The Gambia in 2017, when Yahya Jammeh stepped down after losing the election.

But the way it will be involved now in the use of the army in Niger has become a difficult situation.

First of all, Niger is the largest country in West Africa, but if you consider The Gambia, you will see that it is a country that has not yet brought its citizens from Senegal. sending soldiers into Niger will be difficult.

Secondly, Nigeria is strong in the region, which is moving forward in using the military in Niger, it is also suffering from its own internal security problems, so if it takes many soldiers and sends them to Niger, it will be a risk in its own right.

Thirdly, from Burkina Faso to Mali, they said that if soldiers are sent to Niger, they will come to protect their friends who have staged a coup.

Nigeria and Niger have a strong history between them, for their good relationship as two brothers, they use the same language of Hausa in most of their areas, which will not allow some Nigerian soldiers to fight if it comes.

Countries such as Algeria, which are neighbors of Niger, China and Russia, have suggested continuing to use dialogue to find the bottom line of this crisis.

After a three-day discussion in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, the chief of the Ecowas military said that they have prepared a plan on how to take military action against Niger, he just wants Nigeria to look at it.

Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Benin said they are ready to send troops if Ecowas approves the attack.

According to the statistics of Global Fire Power, Nigeria has 135,000 soldiers while Niger has only 10,000, which if the attack comes, it will not be good, no doubt.

Even if there is no solution to the problem in cold water is the solution for both parties, but Ecowas is trying to show its power since it failed to prevent the coup d’état in the region in the last three years.

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