A security analyst, Colonel Festus Aboagye (Rtd.), has warned that the decision of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to invade troubled Niger using the military could set a bad precedent for the region.
Mr. Aboagye explained that if ECOWAS goes into Niger, it will mean that any time there is a military coup in any country in the sub-region, the bloc will be obligated to intervene using the same effort.
This could be difficult to do in some cases, he said.
The President of ECOWAS, Omar Alieu Touray, on Thursday, August 10, ordered the bloc’s standby force to restore constitutional order in Niger.
In response to ECOWAS’ declaration, the security analyst urged the bloc to be cautious, as it could have serious consequences.
He said that ECOWAS would likely face logistical challenges in mobilizing its forces and that the best force the bloc could deploy at this point would be a diplomatic one, not a military one.
“The 6000 force will not be sufficient. We stand the risk of running into problems, so ECOWAS will need to find commanders to put a campaign structure and group forces, and so we cannot at this stage, determine when the invasion will take place.”
“The best force the ECOWAS has right now is the diplomatic force. The budget of the action has not been worked out yet and also the deployment and the additional capability is essential which we currently don’t have in West Africa.”
“They can go ahead, but my understanding will be that that will be a bad precedent which means that anytime there is a coup anywhere in Africa, then the bloc must go in to intervene so as not to create the impression that this decision is taken because Niger is a smaller force,” Mr Aboagye further stated.