By Gift Habib
Troops of the Economic Community of West African States have pledged readiness to deploy its standby force that could restore civil rule in Niger Republic should diplomatic efforts to reverse the coup there fail.
All member states except those under military rule and Cape Verde pledged to participate in the standby force at a meeting in Accra, Ghana’s capital, on Thursday.
According to Reuters, ECOWAS commissioner, Abdel-Fatau Musah, was quoted to have said, “Let no one be in doubt if everything else fails, the valiant forces of West Africa…are ready to answer to the call of duty.
“By all means available, constitutional order will be restored in the country,” Musah told assembled defence chiefs from member countries, listing past ECOWAS deployments in The Gambia, and Liberia as examples of readiness.
Al Jazeera quoted Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Gwabin Musa, to have said, “Democracy is what we stand for and it’s what we encourage.”
“The focus of our gathering is not simply to react to events, but to proactively chart a course that results in peace and promote stability.”
The Presidential Guards seized power from President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26, making the ECOWAS issue a one-week ultimatum to the military to restore the president or risk sanctions.
The military ignored the ECOWAS threats and vowed to resist foreign intervention.
The ECOWAS asked Defence Chiefs to activate its standby force.