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ECOWAS standby force ready to go to Niger: official

By Xinhua

2023-08-19 10:14:36 ACCRA, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) — The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) standby force is ready to go to Niger any time the order is given, a senior ECOWAS official said here late Friday. Abdel-Fatau Musah, ECOWAS commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace, and Security, made the comment during a press briefing after a two-day meeting of the ECOWAS defense chiefs in Ghana’s capital Accra. Musah said all the necessary preparations had concluded, and the defense chiefs would present their report to the leaders of the subregional bloc for further instruction. “We have already agreed and fine-tuned the logistics required for the intervention,” said the ECOWAS commissioner. “We are ready to go anytime the order is given. This meeting is the final extraordinary meeting before deployment, and as soon as our heads of state and government are satisfied with the report, we are ready to respond to the call to duty,” he said. He added that all options were still on the table for finding a peaceful resolution to the crisis. Musah called for the unconditional release of the deposed President Mohamed Bazoum, his family, and members of his government who were still in detention in Niger. A mediation team from the subregional bloc, he said, was expected in Niamey this Saturday to engage with the military junta on possible ways of ending the political crisis. Enditem

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