WITH the troops as Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) set to invade Niger to restore civil rule, members of the junta have evacuated their families to Bukina Faso and Dubai.
In expression of the mood of ECOWAS, the Chief of Defence Staff of the Nigerian Army, General Christopher Gwabin Musa, said at a meeting in Accra, Ghana that, “democracy is what we stand for and encourage.”
Al Jazeera reports that ECOWAS commissioner Abdel-Fatau Musah revealed that all member states except those under military rule and Cape Verde pledged readiness to participate in the standby force.
Reacting to ECOWAS threat, the military Mali and Burkina Faso warned that any military intervention in Niger would be viewed as an act of war, revealing a fracture in the region between coastal countries and those in the Sahel.
Guinea, which is also under military rule also condemned any external aggression.
Quoting its sources, Arise TV, stated that, “in the night of Friday, 11th to Saturday 12th of August 2023, the Nigerien junta, under the command of General Tchiani, evacuated all the putschists’ families.
“Indeed, several Gulfstream G550 type aircraft (in particular flight No. BFY824R) took off from Agadez Airport to Burkina Faso and Dubai with their women and children on board.”
According to the source, “General Tchiani appears to have had intelligence of an imminent attack by ECOWAS. He protects his family and leaves Nigerien people behind to a certain death. While he shelters his family, Tchiani is ready to send soldiers into a fratricidal war.
“Like any selfish and totalitarian putschists, he already uses state finances for personal purposes. It is at the expense of the Nigerien state that he sends his family to live richly under the Dubai sun. The junta does not hesitate a moment to set ablaze Niger while preparing a golden exit in Dubai.”
The ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Abdel-Fatau Musah, disclosed in Ghana: “Let no one be in doubt that if everything else fails, the valiant forces of West Africa…are ready to answer to the call of duty.”
Reuters quoted Musah as saying. “By all means available, constitutional order will be restored in the country,” he added
ECOWAS had long deliberated on the use of force, which it described as a “last resort” due to several mediation teams it sent to Niamey and also for a lack of consensus within its ranks.