Junta-Led Burkina Faso and Mali Issue Warning against Military Intervention in Niger

On Monday, Burkina Faso and Mali, both led by juntas, issued a stern warning that any military intervention in Niger aimed at restoring deposed President Mohamed Bazoum would be considered a “declaration of war” against their two countries. This warning came in response to West African leaders’ threats to use “force” to reinstate President Bazoum and their imposition of financial sanctions on the coup perpetrators.

The governments of Burkina Faso and Mali jointly released a statement cautioning against the consequences of a military intervention in Niger, emphasizing the potential destabilization of the entire region. They also refused to comply with the “illegal, illegitimate, and inhumane sanctions” imposed on Niger’s people and authorities.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) had previously demanded Bazoum’s reinstatement within a week, warning of the possible use of force to restore constitutional order. The bloc also imposed financial sanctions on the junta leaders and Niger, freezing all commercial and financial transactions with member states.

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The pressure to restore constitutional order in Niger is mounting from both Western and African partners. France and the United States have deployed troops in Niger to combat jihadist groups in the Sahel region, making Niger a crucial partner in this fight.

The junta in Niger accused France of seeking to militarily intervene to reinstate Bazoum, a claim denied by French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna. However, France remains committed to stabilizing Niger and its neighbors.

The situation in Niger has attracted international attention, with Russia calling for a swift return to the rule of law and restraint from all parties. Bazoum, a pro-Western leader, was toppled on July 26 by the elite Presidential Guard, but his claim to leadership has been rejected internationally.

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The recent coup in Niger adds to the instability in the Sahel region, which has already witnessed coups in Mali and Burkina Faso. The jihadist insurgency, along with economic challenges and corruption, has further strained the region’s fragile governments.

Despite the pressure, the junta in Niger continues to face resistance and protests, with demonstrators demanding stronger alliances, either with Russia or France, to combat the jihadist threat.

As the international community reacts to the crisis, Niger’s future remains uncertain, with potential implications for regional stability and security efforts against jihadist groups.

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