Presidency Speaks on Tinubu Using Force in Niger

President Bola Tinubu has not ruled out the possibility of military intervention, according to a statement from the presidency.

This comes ahead of a crisis summit by a coalition of West African nations scheduled for Thursday in Abuja.

Tinubu, who also chairs the ECOWAS bloc, believes that diplomacy remains the preferred approach to resolving the crisis. So far, efforts by ECOWAS and the United States to persuade Niger’s new leaders to reinstate the democratically elected president, Mohamed Bazoum, have faced challenges.

The military leaders who took control did not comply with a Sunday deadline to restore President Bazoum to power, despite the potential threat of force. They’ve also resisted negotiations and instead organized a rally in the capital Niamey.

Tinubu’s spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, emphasized that no options have been ruled out. The United States also expressed hope that the coup could be reversed, but acknowledged the challenges. The US State Department conveyed that it was making it clear to the junta leaders the consequences of not returning to constitutional order.

ECOWAS imposed trade and financial sanctions on Niger after the military take-over. Despite the bloc’s ultimatum to restore President Bazoum or face possible military intervention, the rebel soldiers closed Niger’s airspace.

A joint delegation from ECOWAS, the African Union, and the United Nations sought to visit Niamey, but was blocked by the ruling military, citing potential security risks due to public “anger” triggered by the sanctions.