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Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Niger Authorizes Military Intervention by Burkina Faso & Mali if Attacked


In the aftermath of a military coup, Niger seeks support from neighboring countries amidst threats from ECOWAS.

Fri 25 Aug 2023 | 09:43 AM
By Ahmad El-Assasy

Niger's military regime, which took power roughly a month ago after a coup d'état that ousted President Mahamadou Issoufou, has given the green light for armed forces from Burkina Faso and Mali to intervene on its soil in the event of foreign aggression.

The Assistant Secretary-General of Niger's Foreign Ministry, Omar Ibrahim Sidi, at the conclusion of their visit, relayed the ministers' approval. He said, "They welcome the orders issued by Niamey which permit the defense and security forces of Burkina Faso and Mali to intervene on Nigerien territory in case of an act of aggression."

Like Niger, both Burkina Faso and Mali have been grappling with frequent jihadist violence. Furthermore, between 2020 and 2022, both nations saw military officers seize power forcefully.

Post the military coup in Niamey on July 26, the military rulers of Burkina Faso and Mali expressed solidarity with Niger's new authorities.

Regional Standoff with ECOWAS: 

This support from neighboring countries is particularly significant given the threat posed by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for potential military intervention against Niger's coup leaders, aiming to restore the country's constitutional order. In response to this threat, both Burkina Faso and Mali warned ECOWAS that any intervention in Niger would be considered a "declaration of war", a sentiment echoed by their ministers on Thursday.

General Cissé upped the ante in his message to ECOWAS, declaring that any foreign military intervention in his country would not be a "walk in the park as some might believe."