An Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) delegation has arrived in Niger to engage in discussions with the military officials who orchestrated the takeover and removal of President Mohamed Bazoum.
Leading the ECOWAS delegation is former Nigerian leader Abdulsalami Abubakar.
The governing military council of Niger has also affirmed the presence of the ECOWAS representatives. The delegation touched down in Niger's capital, Niamey, on Saturday, following an announcement by ECOWAS military chiefs that they were prepared to intervene in order to reinstate President Bazoum.
Earlier in the week, the ECOWAS defence chiefs convened in the Ghanaian capital, Accra, to refine the specifics of a potential military operation aimed at reinstating President Bazoum if ongoing negotiations with the coup leaders fail.
ECOWAS had reached a consensus to activate a “standby force” as a final recourse to restore democracy in Niger after the generals took control and detained President Bazoum. Nevertheless, the West African bloc emphasizes its preference for dialogue to diffuse the crisis.
“We are ready to go any time the order is given,” Abdel-Fatau Musah, an ECOWAS commissioner for political affairs and security, said on Friday after the military chiefs' meeting.