Troops of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, have said they are ready to participate in a standby force that could intervene in the Republic of Niger.
After the coupists seized power from President Mohamed Bazoum, ECOWAS issued a seven-day ultimatum to the military to restore the president or risk sanctions, including possible military action.
According to Al Jazeera, at a meeting in Ghana’s capital, Accra, on Thursday, the defence chiefs said they prepared to reinstate the democratic order in Niger.
Vanguard earlier reported that the ECOWAS defence chiefs began their meeting in Ghana on Thursday.
The Accra meeting of top army commanders on Thursday and Friday came after fresh violence in Niger, with jihadists killing at least 17 soldiers in an ambush, the defence ministry said.
Twenty more soldiers were wounded, six seriously, in the heaviest losses since the July 26 coup, when the presidential guard ousted Bazoum and detained him and his family.
Jihadist insurgencies have gripped Africa’s Sahel region for more than a decade, breaking out in northern Mali in 2012 before spreading to neighbouring Niger and Burkina Faso in 2015.
The unrest across the region has killed thousands of troops, police officers and civilians, and forced millions to flee their homes.