ECOWAS authorities have resolved to intervene militarily in the Niger coup crisis to restore democracy and reinstate President Mohamed Bazoum. The decision was made following unsuccessful diplomatic talks with the coup leaders during an emergency meeting in Abuja on August 10, 2023.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
Niger’s allies, Mali and Burkina Faso, have declared that any ECOWAS military intervention would be seen as a declaration of war against them.
Should ECOWAS send troops to Niger, Nigeria could face five major challenges:
1. Refugee crisis: Nigeria’s porous border would likely lead to an influx of refugees and displaced persons from Niger, particularly in border states like Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina, Zamfara, Jigawa, Yobe, and Borno.
2. Casualties: Multi-country conflicts tend to result in civilian deaths, as seen in Nigeria’s experience leading ECOMOG troops in Liberia in 1990.
3. Arms proliferation: Wars leave behind arms proliferation, contributing to future crises. Nigeria already struggles with arms smuggled through its borders, leading to increased banditry and insurgency.
4. Increase in terrorism: Heightened arms availability could escalate violent crimes, worsening Nigeria’s existing issues with terrorism and banditry.
5. Economic impact: ECOWAS sanctions against Niger have already affected local businesses in Nigerian border states, causing price increases for food and goods. If diplomacy fails, the economic strain could intensify further.