West Africa: Burkina Faso's Parliament Approves Sending Troops to Niger

21 September 2023

Harare — The Burkinabe parliament gave the go-ahead for Captain Ibrahim Traore to send troops to neighboring Niger in response to a potential foreign military intervention to reinstate ousted leader Mohamed Bazoum, The North Africa Post reports.

The proposition, which was approved by all 71 legislators, will have a three-month renewable mandate beginning on the date of deployment or the start of military involvement by the regional body Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas).

"Without warmongering, it must be noted that this commitment is made to prevent and in the best interest of our fight against terrorism, a deep aspiration of the Burkinabe people," Defense minister Col. Maj. Kassoum Coulibaly reportedly said.

The soldiers ousted Bazoum, who had the support of the West, on July 26. Ecowas and numerous countries, notably France, condemned the coup. In August, Ecowas declared that it had troops on standby for an intervention in Niger to reinstall Bazoum but since then are focusing on diplomatic solutions.

Niger's new leaders welcomed Burkina Faso and Mali's assertions to intervene on their behalf "in the event of aggression" from Ecowas and foreign powers.

The three Sahel countries then formed the Alliance of Sahel States (AES), which they said would enable them to work together to counter risks of violent insurrection or outside attack. The three nations are having difficulty containing fighters affiliated to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, and the coups damaged their relationships with regional allies and international partners.

The Alliance said that other nations will offer support either singly or collectively, including through the use of force.

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