The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Committee of Army Heads will today, August 17, 2023, begin a meeting in Accra.

The gathering is an emergency two-day summit that seeks to finalise plans for the deployment of the standby force to Niger, where a junta held a coup last month.

On July 27, soldiers in Niger announced a coup on national television.

They said they had dissolved the constitution, suspended all institutions, and closed the nation’s borders.

President Mohamed Bazoum was also held captive and is expected to face charges of high treason.

The junta was given a week ultimatum to return the country to constitutional rule or risk military action.

Following the deadline, the President of ECOWAS, Omar Alieu Touray, on August 10 ordered the bloc’s standby force to restore constitutional order in Niger.

ECOWAS also called on the African Union, partner countries, and institutions to support the resolution taken by the sub-regional body.

The community said all efforts made to dialogue with the Niger Republic military junta have been defiantly rejected by coup leaders. They condemned the continuous detention of President Mohamed Bazoum and his family members.

The directive has, however, been met with condemnation and division in the sub-region.

Some countries, including Ivory Coast, have reportedly agreed to provide troops for the force, but there have been concerns and opposition in Nigeria and Ghana for the government not to provide any force.

The National Democratic Congress, for instance, has described the mission as a useless and fruitless venture that President Nana Akufo-Addo should not deploy soldiers for.