The African Union on Tuesday suspended Niger Republic until civilian rule in the country is restored and would assess the implications of any armed intervention in the troubled Sahel nation.
Reuters reported that the bloc stated, “The Peace and Security Council requests the AU Commission to undertake an assessment of the economic, social and security implications of deploying a standby force in Niger and report back to Council.”
Recall that, on July 26, the presidential military guards ousted President Mohamed Bazoum, declaring a coup in the country.
The Economic Community of West African States has since held emergency meetings to try to restore democratic rule and recently activated a “standby force” as a last resort to restore democracy in Niger.
It has said it is ready to act, even as it continues to pursue hopes for a diplomatic solution, stating that “no option is off the table”.
The AU last week also held a meeting on the crisis against a backdrop of divergent views within the bloc over any military intervention.
Niger is the fourth nation in West Africa since 2020 to suffer a coup attack, following after Burkina Faso, Guinea and Mali.
The juntas in Burkina Faso and Mali have said that any military intervention in their neighbour would be considered a “declaration of war” against their countries and have sent forces to Niger in preparation for an attack.
Bazoum, after the coup declaration has been held with his family at the president’s official residence, with growing international concern over his health in detention.