Niger has authorised Mali and Burkina Faso’s armed forces to
intervene on its territory in case of an attack.
The three allies’ foreign ministers said they had met in the
Nigerien capital Niamey to discuss boosting cooperation on security and other
joint issues, according to a joint statement on Thursday.
According to Reuters, this might be a possible sign the
junta in Niger plans to keep resisting regional pressure to stand down.
The statement said the ministers welcomed the signing by Niger junta leader General Abdourahamane
Tiani of two orders “authorising the Defense and Security Forces of Burkina
Faso and Mali to intervene on Nigerien territory in the event of an attack.”
“The Burkinabe and
Malian Ministers … reiterated their rejection of an armed intervention against
the people of Niger which will be considered as a declaration of war,” it said.
The main West African bloc ECOWAS has been trying to
negotiate with the coup leaders but warned it is ready to explore all measures
including the deployment of troops into Niger to restore constitutional order
if diplomatic efforts fail.
Any escalation risks further destabilising the
insurgency-torn region as Niger’s junta-led neighbours, Mali and Burkina Faso,
have said they would back Niger in any conflict with ECOWAS.
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