Tinubu Has Not Ruled Out Use of Force in Niger, Presidency Affirms

Bola Tinubu

Tinubu Does Not Exclude Use of Force in Niger, Presidency Affirms

The presidency has clarified that President Bola Tinubu has not dismissed the potential for military intervention, ahead of a West African coalition’s impending crisis summit in Abuja scheduled for Thursday. Serving as the chair of the ECOWAS bloc, Tinubu’s spokesperson stated that while he believes diplomacy remains the preferred approach to resolving the crisis, he acknowledges that all options remain open.

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Despite efforts by both ECOWAS and the United States to persuade Niger’s new leadership to relinquish power to the democratically elected president, progress has been limited. The military leaders, who seized control, disregarded a Sunday ultimatum to reinstate President Mohamed Bazoum, leading to the prospect of military intervention. They further defied negotiations by organizing a rally in the capital, Niamey.

Ajuri Ngelale, spokesperson for Tinubu, clarified, “No options have been taken off of the table.”

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The United States has expressed cautious optimism, indicating that while they continue to hope the coup might be reversed, they are also being realistic. The US State Department underlined their stance, emphasizing the consequences of failing to restore constitutional order through direct dialogues with the junta leadership.

Efforts by ECOWAS, the Economic Community of West African States, to reinstate Bazoum through trade and financial sanctions have so far been met with resistance. The ruling military denied access to a joint delegation comprising African Union and United Nations officials, citing potential safety risks due to public “anger” triggered by the sanctions.

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In a demonstration of their intentions to maintain control, the military leadership appointed Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine as the new prime minister, revealing their determination to retain power.

Niger’s current situation mirrors a broader trend of coups within the ECOWAS bloc since 2020, with Mali, Burkina Faso, and now Niger experiencing takeovers propelled by jihadist insurgencies. These upheavals have resulted in loss of life, displacement, and economic instability, posing significant challenges to these nations.


Despite efforts by US envoy Victoria Nuland to engage with Niger’s military rulers, negotiations proved difficult and unproductive. The two-hour meeting left her empty-handed, as her proposed solutions to the crisis were not accepted.

As the crisis continues to unfold, the stance of neighboring countries, including Mali and Burkina Faso, has been one of solidarity with Niger, warning against any form of military intervention. Algeria, sharing a border with Niger, has echoed these sentiments, perceiving such intervention as a direct threat to its own security.

President Bazoum, who won elections in 2021, faces an uncertain future as the nation navigates a delicate transition of power. With various international players involved, including France and the United States, the situation remains complex and fluid.



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