ECOWAS Defence Chiefs will today meet in Ghana to discuss the deployment of a standby force in Niger to restore constitutional rule.

Heads of state of the sub-regional bloc last Thursday ordered the activation and deployment of a standby force to Niger if dialogue with the putschists fails. According to a statement by the ECOWAS Commission, the ECOWAS Committee of Chiefs of Defence Staff (CCDC) has commenced the activation of the ECOWAS Standby Force for the restoration of constitutional order in the Republic of Niger.

The Defence Chiefs will meet in Accra, Ghana for two days (Thursday and Friday) to finalize plans for the deployment of the Standby Force.

Presidential guards led by General Abdourahmane Tchiani on 26 July arrested Niger’s president Mohamed Bazoum and dissolved the constitution.

Responding to the coup, ECOWAS convened an emergency meeting where it imposed economic sanctions on Niger including a seven days ultimatum to the putschists to reinstate the ousted president.

The putschists defied ECOWAS and formed a new government on the eve of the second emergency meeting convened by the bloc.

Last Saturday, a Nigerian intervention team of Islamic scholars met with the junta leaders to discuss resolutions after which the junta leader agreed to dialogue with ECOWAS. Before then, two attempts made by ECOWAS to meet with the junta leader had failed.

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