Forces belonging to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) began to station themselves on the border between Benin and Niger in the Malanville area, a few kilometers from the border, according to local sources.
These forces began arriving from Cotonou, the capital of Benin, a few days ago, and are made up of the countries of Ivory Coast, Senegal, and Benin.
On Saturday, the Niger authorities accused France of “deploying its forces” in a number of West African countries in preparation for launching an “aggression” against the country, in cooperation with ECOWAS.
On Monday, social media circulated a video clip published by a military analyst from Nigeria, who said it showed the Nigerien army transferring military equipment to the border area with Benin “in anticipation of an imminent invasion by ECOWAS.”
The Prime Minister of Niger, appointed by the military junta, Ali Lamine El-Zein, announced last Monday that his country would respond to any attempt to attack it in self-defense.
It was reported that Paris may withdraw part of the French forces present in Niger, in light of the diplomatic tension between the two countries following the coup, but French President Emmanuel Macron confirmed on Sunday that any possible redeployment of French forces in Niger would only take place at the request of the ousted President Mohamed Bazoum, who was overthrown by a military coup at the end of July.
The US Department of Defense announced last week that the United States had begun the process of repositioning its forces in Niger as a “precautionary” measure.
Source: National Iraqi News Agency