African Union Suspends Niger Amid Civilian Rule Restoration: AU to Assess Implications of Armed InterventionThank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
The African Union announced on Tuesday that Niger’s membership has been suspended until the restoration of civilian rule in the country, and that the organization will evaluate potential consequences of any military intervention in the Sahel nation.
The Peace and Security Council has called upon the AU Commission to conduct an evaluation of the economic, social, and security effects of deploying a standby force in Niger, and to subsequently report its findings to the Council. This decision follows significant differences of opinion on the matter.
After Army officers ousted President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26, the West African regional bloc ECOWAS threatened the use of force to reinstate him. ECOWAS, the Economic Community of West African States, agreed to activate a “standby force” as a final resort to reinstate democracy in Niger. While still pursuing diplomatic resolutions, ECOWAS remains prepared for action.
Last week, the AU convened a meeting to address the crisis, highlighting divergent viewpoints within the bloc concerning potential military intervention.
The coup has exacerbated global concerns regarding the Sahel region, which confronts escalating jihadist insurgencies linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group. Niger becomes the fourth West African nation since 2020 to experience a coup, following Burkina Faso, Guinea, and Mali.
Juntas in Burkina Faso and Mali have expressed that any military interference in their neighboring country would be construed as a “declaration of war” against their nations.
The recent coup marks the fifth in Niger’s history since the country gained independence from France in 1960. President Bazoum’s 2021 election was a milestone, signifying the nation’s first peaceful transition of power. Since the coup, he and his family have been held at the president’s official residence, sparking international concern over their detention conditions.