Niger’s military leaders have closed the country’s airspace after defying a deadline by the regional bloc Ecowas to hand back power to a civilian government or face possible armed intervention.

The army said it believes preparations to invade Niger had begun in two African countries but gave no evidence.

Ecowas has not made a statement since the deadline expired.

Niger’s generals appear to be taking the threat of invasion by West African states seriously.

In a televised statement a spokesman said any violation of the airspace would be met with an “energetic and immediate response”.

Ecowas has said it hopes to resolve the crisis peacefully but warned that plans for a military intervention had been worked out.

Regional heads of state would have to approve any such action.

But neighbouring Burkina Faso and Mali, also led by military rulers, have said they would defend Niger.

The UK and France have said they would support Ecowas’ response to the coup but have not said whether that includes military action.

Niger is one of the world’s biggest producers of uranium and has been a key ally for African and Western countries battling jihadist groups linked to the Islamic State and al-Qaeda in the region.

Please Share This


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

We can help you create and promote standard contents across the internet/other media in Nigeria and beyond. Call/Whatsapp +2348038704454 or follow on Twitter/IG/FB @OtownGist and @HardyNwa