Senegal says its troops will join any ECOWAS intervention in Niger

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Protesters hold a banner in support of the Niger junta during a demonstration on independence day in Niamey on August 3, 2023. Security concerns built on August 3, 2023 ahead of planned protests in coup-hit Niger, with France demanding safety guarantees for foreign embassies as some Western nations reduced their diplomatic presence. (Photo by AFP)

Senegal said Thursday that it will participate if the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) decides to intervene militarily in Niger following last week’s coup. Foreign Minister Aissata Tall Sall told reporters on Thursday that there had been one “coup too many” in the region and cited Senegal’s international commitments.

“Senegalese soldiers, for all these reasons, will go there,” she said.

Regional bloc ECOWAS has threatened potential use of force if the junta does not restore ousted President Mohamed Bazoum by Sunday. Niger is the fourth member of the bloc to undergo a putsch since 2020.

Speaking during a government press briefing in the capital Dakar, Tall Sall said Senegal was obligated to go along with ECOWAS’s decisions. But she added, “Senegal’s conviction is that these coups must be stopped — that’s why we are going there”. She also raised the question as to why ECOWAS would send troops to Niger, when it had not done so following coups in Mali, Guinea or Burkina Faso.

“To give a simple answer, because it is one coup too many”, she said.

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