TRENDS Research and Advisory reviews the future of the Niger Coup: Study considers various threats and challenges
TRENDS Research and Advisory released a new study on the current developments in Niger entitled "The future of the Niger Coup and the Possibility of Military Intervention.” The study reviews the relevant risks and possibility of external military intervention. It analyzes the regional and international positions towards the coup and the various threats facing Niger in the event that negotiations and consultations about restoring civilian government reach a political impasse. The study reviews the potential scenarios and outcomes.
Dr. Mohamed Al-Sbitli is a Senior Research Fellow and Head of African Studies Program at the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies in Riyadh, showed that about a month has passed since the coup that took place in Niger on July 26 succeeded in overthrowing the incumbent civilian government of President Mohamed Bazoum. However, the consequences of the coup are still unclear. While ECOWAS is demanding that the coup leaders should restore civilian rule or face a possible military intervention, the military junta that overthrew President Bazoum remains defiant. The junta is pursuing its program to the total disregard of demands by the international and regional community demands to restore the previous constitutional status.
The study stressed that if the situation remains unchanged, the Niger Coup leaders might remain in power for a prolonged period. They can reach agreements with Western countries to maintain military bases and security cooperation and preserve Western interests. If they commit not to bring the Russian Wagner Group to replace Western forces in the fight against terrorism, the new military regime will be accepted eventually and treated as de facto authority.
But will the ECOWAS group repeat previous position and accept the junta, like the case in Mali. The Malian case has disappointed the group’s hopes for the possibility of returning to a civilian and constitutional system that does not fall under the authority and the grip of the military.
The study reviewed the risks of disintegration that may threaten the territorial integrity and stability of Niger, the possible risks of an ECOWAS military intervention and previous experiences. The study considered the prospects for a political solution, noting that despite the difficulty of military intervention against the junta, it remains a possible option. The study addressed the fragility of the position of the ECOWAS group, the operational difficulty of military intervention and the disparity of Western positions on the coup. It also covered the reluctance to support a military intervention, in addition to the geopolitical and strategic implications of the relaxed US position vis-à-vis the Niger coup. The analysis stressed that submission to a de facto status may be taken as an indicator for military establishments in other neighboring countries, to overthrow the civilian regimes in other ECOWAS countries.