Tensions Rise As West African Nations Prepare To Send Troops To Niger

NIAMEY, NIGER — Tensions are escalating between Niger’s new military regime and the West African regional bloc that has ordered the deployment of troops to restore Niger’s flailing democracy.

The ECOWAS bloc said Thursday it had decided to deploy a “standby force” aimed at restoring constitutional order in Niger after its Sunday deadline to reinstate ousted President Mohamed Bazoum expired.

Hours earlier, two Western officials told The Associated Press that Niger’s junta had told a top U.S. diplomat they would kill Bazoum if neighboring countries attempted any military intervention to restore his rule.

It’s unclear when or where the ECOWAS force would deploy, and how reports of the threats against Bazoum would affect a decision by the 15-member bloc to intervene. Conflict experts say it the force would likely comprise some 5,000 troops led by Nigeria and could be ready within weeks.


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 Edited by Jesus Chan

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