The Malian army announced on Monday that it had sent an official delegation from Mali, along with a similar delegation from Burkina Faso, to Niamey, “in solidarity with Niger”.
The announcement comes after the expiration of the one-week ultimatum granted by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to Niger’s military council to abandon its coup, against a backdrop of opposition from Algeria, Libya, Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea and Chad to the option of military intervention by the group’s countries, while favoring the use of diplomacy to put an end to the putsch.
The Malian army declared on X, formerly Twitter, that “Burkina Faso and Mali are sending a delegation to Niamey, led by the Malian Minister of State, Minister of Territorial Administration, Government Spokesman. Objective: to demonstrate the solidarity of the two countries with the brotherly people of Niger”.
The joint delegation is scheduled to arrive in Niger later today, according to Niger’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
A few days earlier, Mali and Burkina Faso, countries where the army had also taken power by force in 2020 and 2022, announced in a joint communiqué their refusal of any foreign military intervention in Niger, considering it a “declaration of war” that concerned them, and threatened to withdraw from ECOWAS.
A week ago, ECOWAS gave Niger’s military council an ultimatum, which expired on Sunday, to release President Mohamed Bazoum and restore him to power, having been overthrown by a military coup on July 26, a putsch led by the head of the Presidential Guard unit, General Abd al-Rahman Chiani.
The African Economic Community said it was considering all options, including military intervention, if the putschists did not comply with its demands.
ECOWAS comprises 15 member states: Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Niger, Nigeria, Togo and Cape Verde.