The coup leaders in Niger Republic have ordered the military to be on high alert over a proposed invasion muted by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Naija News reports that the military junta made this known in an internal document issued on Friday by its Defence Chief.
According to VOA, the document, which was shared widely online Saturday, said the order to be on maximum alert would allow forces to respond adequately in case of any attack and “avoid a general surprise.”
“Threats of aggression to the national territory are increasingly being felt,” the document added.
The main West African bloc, ECOWAS, has been trying to negotiate with the leaders of the July 26 coup, but it has said it is ready to deploy troops to restore constitutional order if diplomatic efforts fail.
On Friday, the bloc downplayed the invasion threat and said it was “determined to bend backwards to accommodate diplomatic efforts,” although an intervention remained one of the options on the table.
“For the avoidance of doubt, let me state unequivocally that ECOWAS has neither declared war on the people of Niger nor is there a plan, as it is being purported, to invade the country,” ECOWAS Commission President Omar Alieu Touray told reporters.
The bloc’s decision earlier in August to activate a standby force for a possible intervention raised fears of an escalation that could further destabilize the West African region.
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