The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Friday said it would have to deploy its standby force to Niger Republic if diplomacy totally fails in the process of restoring democracy in the troubled francophone country.
President of the ECOWAS Commission, Omar Touray, explained that sub-regional bloc stands for the restoration of constitutional order in all member countries.
Touray told a press conference in Abuja that it was not too late for the junta in Niger led by General Abdourahmane Tchiani to reconsider their action and return President Mohammed Bazoum to power.
According to him, the decision for military action was reached by the Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS on the condition of failure of diplomacy.
ECOWAS has not neither declared war on the people of Niger nor is there a plan, as it is being purported to invade the country, Touray added.
He disclosed that preparations have continued towards making the force (ECOWAS) Sandby Force) ready for deployment.
“The technical arm of the decision making organ, which include the committee of the chiefs of defence staff have also been directed to prepare the community enforcement mechanism in case it becomes compelling to deploy the force,” the ECOWAS Commission president said.
Following the coup on July 26, ECOWAS imposed several sanctions on the francophone country, including cutting off electricity supply, to compel the military leaders to reinstate the ousted President.
The Niger junta has however, defiantly refused to yield to entreaties and diplomatic pressure to reinstate President Bazoum despite a seven-day ultimatum that was handed down by ECOWAS.