Niger’s military junta has threatened to kill deposed President Mohamed Bazoum if neighbouring countries attempt any military intervention to restore his rule.
This comes amid the position of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, that all options were still open.
The regional body said this at its meeting chaired by its Chairman, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu of Nigeria in Abuja on Thursday.
ECOWAS then ordered the Chief of Defence Staff of member states committee to immediately activate its standby force.
According to Daily Mail, a Western military official said representatives of the junta told US Under Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland, of the threat to Bazoum during her visit to the country this week.
The Associated Press reported that a US official confirmed that account, also speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the media.
Reacting, the United States has said it will hold the junta that took power in Niger accountable for the safety of Bazoum, his family and detained members of the government.
The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, said on Thursday: “The United States joins the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in calling for the restoration of constitutional order in Niger.”
Blinken, who spoke in a statement released by the US State Department, added: “The United States appreciates the determination of ECOWAS to explore all options for the peaceful resolution of the crisis.”
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