ECOWAS’s Military Intervention in Niger: A Political Analyst Explains

Russell Nketiah Tannor

The Truth Behind ECOWAS’s Military Response to Niger’s Political Crisis: An Interview with an Expert

A security analyst, Dr. Kwesi Aning, has expressed skepticism about the readiness of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to intervene militarily in Niger, following the recent coup that ousted President Mahamadou Issoufou.

Dr. Aning, who is the Director of the Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), said that ECOWAS has not shown enough political will and capacity to deal with the complex security challenges in Niger.

He said that ECOWAS has been slow and inconsistent in responding to the political crises in Mali and Guinea, which have also experienced coups in the past year. He added that ECOWAS lacks the resources and logistics to deploy a credible force in Niger, which is facing multiple threats from Islamist militants, ethnic militias, and criminal gangs.

Dr. Aning also questioned the legitimacy and effectiveness of ECOWAS's sanctions against the coup leaders, saying that they are unlikely to deter them from holding on to power. He said that ECOWAS should engage in dialogue and mediation with the junta, as well as other stakeholders, to ensure a peaceful and democratic transition in Niger.

He urged ECOWAS to learn from its past interventions in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Côte d'Ivoire, which were marred by human rights violations, corruption, and lack of accountability. He said that ECOWAS should adopt a more holistic and inclusive approach to address the root causes of instability and violence in Niger and the region.

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