- Burkina Faso and Mali warn against military intervention in Niger, stating it would be a declaration of war against them
- Guinea expresses disagreement with ECOWAS sanctions and military intervention, calling for a reconsideration of the bloc’s position
Burkina Faso and Mali backed Niger’s newly installed junta on Monday, warning against military intervention in the country’s affairs.
General Abdourahamane Tiani, commander of the Guards, deposed President Mohamed Bazoum‘s government late last week. The coup has been widely condemned internationally, with the West African bloc ECOWAS giving him a week to return power to Bazoum.
What did Burkina Faso and Mali say about the situation in Niger?
“Any military intervention against Niger would be tantamount to a declaration of war against Burkina Faso and Mali,” the two countries said in a joint statement on Monday.
They said the “disastrous consequences of a military intervention in Niger… could destabilize the entire region.” The two governments also “refuse to apply” the “illegal, illegitimate and inhumane sanctions against the people and authorities of Niger,” the statement said.
The statement comes after leaders of ECOWAS threatened to use “force” to reinstate Bazoum and imposed sanctions on Niger’s government.
In a separate statement, Guinea expressed its “disagreement with the sanctions recommended by ECOWAS, including military intervention,” urging the bloc “reconsider its position.”
The governments of Burkina Faso, Mali and Guinea are also the result of recent military coups.
Nigerien minister arrests draws EU condemnation
According to the party, Niger’s military rulers have detained at least 180 members of Bazoum’s Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism (PNDS).
Energy Minister Mahamane Sani Mahamdou, Mines Minister Ousseini Hadizatou, and party president Foumakoye Gado were among those detained, according to PNDS spokesman Hamid N’Gade.
N’Gade called the arrests “abusive,” blaming them on the military’s “repressive, dictatorial, and unlawful behaviour.”
Josep Borrell, the top diplomat of the European Union, also condemned the arrests.
“The EU denounces the continuing arrests of Ministers and senior officials of President Mohamed Bazoum’s government by the putschists in Niger,” Borrell said. “We call for their immediate release.”