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West African Leaders Ramped up the Rhetoric against Niger’s Coup Leaders

Meeting in Abuja, Nigeria after the expiration of the one-week ultimatum they gave to the Niger’s military junta, leaders from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) called for a deployment “to restore constitutional order in the Republic of Niger,” according to a statement read by Omar Alieu Touray, President of the ECOWAS Commission. It was not immediately clear what the “deployment” and “activation” of the force would entail. The statement also emphasized a “determination to keep all options on the table for the peaceful resolution of the crisis.” Niger has been engulfed in political chaos since late last month, when President Mohamed Bazoum was ousted in a coup d’etat by the presidential guard. ECOWAS responded days later by enacting sanctions and issuing an ultimatum to the ruling military junta: stand down within a week or face a potential military intervention.