The military governments in Mali and Burkina Faso have condemned the position of ECOWAS against the Republic Of Niger on the coup and military take over in the country.

The ECOWAS and the West African Economic Monetary Union (UEMOA) announced sanctions against Niger and the Malian and Burkina Faso governments said these sanctions are illegal and inhumane.

The also gave a strong warning against any military intervention by ECOWAS and said this would amount to a declaration of war against Mali and Burkina Faso. They declared that would put up self defensive measures in support of the armed Forces and people of Niger.

The non-reference to the African Union in the joint statement is instructive given that it was the continental organization that first issued an ultimatum to the Niger junta before ECOWAS and UEMOA after their separate meetings in Abuja.

Indeed, the African Union had attracted criticism of “double standard” in its treatment of coup makers in Mali, Guinea, and Burkina Faso, who have been slammed with sanctions, while Chadian current leader Gen. Mahamat Kaka Idris Derby, who also seized power after Chadian rebels assassinated his father president in 2021 is given VIP treatment by the continental body.

From experience, ECOWAS and the AU would normally impose sanctions before issuing an ultimatum, but perhaps, in order to appear tough on the incessant military incursions in the region, ECOWAS decided to announce its sanctions and the ultimatum in one go.

ECOWAS Chiefs of Defence Staff are expected to hold an emergency meeting in Abuja on Wednesday on the way forward in Niger. This is expected to be followed by a military delegation to Niger.

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