Mali Junta issues stern warning against military intervention in Niger

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The political landscape in West Africa has been shaken in recent weeks, following the ousting of Niger’s President Mohamed Bazoum by dissident elite soldiers on July 26.

As tensions rise in the region, the military junta in Mali has issued a stern warning against any foreign military intervention in neighbouring Niger. This warning comes after both countries’ juntas joined a mutual defence alliance, further complicating the situation on the ground.

Mali Junta issues stern warning against military intervention in Niger
Mali Junta issues stern warning against military intervention in Niger.

The West African regional bloc ECOWAS, led by Nigeria, has threatened the coup leaders with military intervention. However, the Malian junta has made it clear that they will not stand idly by if any foreign governments try to intervene in Niger.

In a message delivered by Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop at the UN General Assembly, Mali expressed strong opposition to any military intervention by ECOWAS.

“Any invasion of this country constitutes a direct threat to the peace and security of Mali, but also to the peace and security of the region, and will necessarily have serious consequences. We will not stand idly by,” declared Minister Diop.

The military leaders of Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso, all of whom came to power through coups since 2020, recently signed a defence pact that promises mutual assistance in the face of attack. This move further complicates the situation and raises concerns about the potential for an escalation of violence in the region.

The ECOWAS bloc has emphasised that it will explore all diplomatic means to resolve the standoff and avoid a conflict. Nigerian President Bola Tinubu in particular has expressed his opposition to military intervention, emphasising that it is not in line with his development plan for Nigeria and the region. He is pushing for a peaceful resolution that respects the principles of democracy and stability.

The junta in Mali has recently shifted its foreign policies towards Russia, prioritising sovereignty. As a result, they have decided to end their cooperation with France and its allies in the fight against extremism.

During the General Assembly, Diop expressed his criticism of France, accusing them of “neo-colonial domination.” In contrast, he praised Russia for their “active solidarity and reliable commitment” both bilaterally and multilaterally.

The government of Mali is determined to exercise its sovereignty and assert authority throughout the country. To further demonstrate this, Bamako has pushed out the UN peacekeeping mission MINUSMA, which is set to complete its withdrawal by the end of the year. They have made it clear that there are no plans to extend this deadline.

The Sahel region continues to face instability and religious extremism. The presence of jihadist insurgencies linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group has raised international concerns for this impoverished region. Since 2012, Mali has struggled with insecurity as well as humanitarian and political crises.

As hostilities resume in the north of the country alongside MINUSMA’s withdrawal, the Malian government assures its people and the international community that all necessary measures have been taken to ensure continuity of state services.

While the coup in Niger has been widely condemned, the situation on the ground is complex and delicate. The junta in Mali is warning against any military intervention, citing concerns for the security and stability of both Mali and the broader region.

Hassan Zakariyya Musa
Hassan Zakariyya Musa is a distinguished alumnus of the Federal University of Technology Minna, Niger State, Nigeria, where he obtained a degree in Agricultural Economics and Extension Technology. He is a highly skilled and innovative content writer, blog post writer, and editor.

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