The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), led by Nigerian President Bola Tinubu said on August 10 that “no option had been taken off the table,” in terms of addressing the coup in Niger. Tinibu made this statement at the conclusion of the second emergency ECOWAS summit on the situation in Niger. ECOWAS also ordered the activation of a force on standby to intervene militarily in Niger.
Social movements and left organizations in West Africa and internationally have been urging against any military intervention from foreign powers since the coup took place. On July 30, just days after the coup, ECOWAS had issued an ultimatum saying it would “take all measures necessary,” including “the use of force,” if the ousted president and his government were not restored by Sunday, August 6. The bloc’s push for the reinstatement of President Mohamed Bazoum has been echoed by imperialist forces such as France and the United States.
The coup and the installation of the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland (CNSP) has been accompanied by a popular uprising which demands an end to French military presence and imperialist economic policies such as the imposition of the CFA franc and the exploitative extraction of Niger’s rich natural resources. Niger is the European Union’s second-largest supplier of uranium. The CNSP which took power on July 26 has strongly condemned the threats lodged against it by ECOWAS as well as its non-military actions such as imposing a no-fly zone and freezing Niger’s assets in its central and commercial banks. The CNSP has also been vocal in opposing Western demands for a reversal of the coup.