Burkina Faso, Mali deploy warplanes to Niger Republic after ECOWAS threat

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Burkina Faso and Mali have reportedly deployed warplanes to the Niger Republic following the Economic Community of West Africa’s possible armed intervention to restore democracy in the West African country.

Niger’s state television reported joint efforts by Mali and Burkina Faso in support of Niger and the deployment of warplanes within Niger’s borders on Friday, August 18.

“Mali and Burkina Faso turned their commitments into concrete action by deploying warplanes to respond to any attack on Niger,” it said, noting the planes were Super Tucano fighter jets.

The coup leaders detained President Mohamed Bazoum and his family on June 26 and dissolved the elected government of Niger.

On July 30, ECOWAS, led by Nigerian President Bola Tinubu, decided on sanctions against the military personnel in Niger and gave a week ultimatum to the military junta to restore ousted Bazoum to office.

After the one-week ultimatum expired, West African leaders met on August 10 and approved a “standby force” to reinstate elected Bazoum.

ECOWAS Defence Chiefs were ordered to activate the region’s force for action to restore civil rule in Niger, noting that it would invade the country on the “D-Day.”

But the military governments in Mali and Burkina Faso called ECOWAS’s bluff, saying an armed intervention in Niger would be met with force.

The television station said the military leaders from Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger convened Friday in the Nigerien capital Niamey to decide on “concrete measures” in case ECOWAS chooses to “escalate a war.”