The one week deadline given the military junta in Niger Republic by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to return the country to democracy elapsed on Sunday.
ECOWAS had last week given the junta seven days to reinstate ousted President Mohamed Bazoum and restore democratic order.
But while the junta led by Gen Abdourahmane Tchiani has remained defiant, ECOWAS under the leadership of Nigeria also remains silent on its next line of action.
Stakeholders have warned President Bola Tinubu against the use of force against the military junta in Niger.
Tinubu as the Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, had sent a high-powered delegation to broker peace with Tchiani, this week, but the mission didn’t succeed in resolving the matter.
The Nigerian Senate also rejected the letter President Tinubu wrote to seek its consent in mobilising and deploying Nigerian soldiers in Niger.
But the position of the West is clear on the Niger crisis. The United States, France, and Germany have all given their backing to the Tinubu-led ECOWAS to use force.
These European countries have not only evacuated their national in Niger, they also partially or completely suspended financial aids to the country.
As the world awaits what will be the next move of ECOWAS, the United States currently has some 1,000 soldiers stationed in the country, Germany has a continent of roughly 100 troops on the ground, according to some European media.
The situation in Niger reflects that of Mali, which also saw foreign soldiers ordered out of the country after a military coup in 2021.
Neighbouring Mali and Burkina Faso — which saw a military coup in 2022 — have both pledged their support to Niger’s should ECOWAS make good on its threat of military intervention.
Meanwhile, Nigeria has the clout to fight Niger economically, as it has closed border and cut power supply, and more sanctions could be taken as days go by with all efforts to return the country to democracy.