The governments of Burkina Faso and The Republic of Mali released a joint statement on Monday saying they will join forces with the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland, the supreme body of Niger’s new military government, to defend the land-locked country from the invasion of its neighbors under western supervision.
The two governments said they would draft their military to defend their neighbor who has decided in “full responsibility to take their destiny into their own hands and to assume before the history, the fullness of their sovereignty.”
The military pact which was signed in both countries’ capital cities – Ouagadougou and Bamako – stated that “any military intervention against Niger would amount to declaration of war” against the sovereign states of Burkina Faso and Mali.
The Pan-African alliance also said it would not join Abuja and other West African states to apply the cruel and illegitimate sanctions which are more likely to cause civilian casualties. The countries also threatened to withdraw their membership of ECOWAS and adopt “self-defence measures in support of the armed forces and the people of Niger,” as the conflict could “destabilize the entire region as was the unilateral NATO intervention in Libya which was at the origin of the expansion of terrorism in the Sahel and West Africa.”
In a move that will call to question who or what influences the Foreign Policy of Nigeria and other West African leaders, President Bola Tinubu has announced a list of economic and diplomatic sanctions whose ultimate goal remains an uncharted course.
The Tinubu-led Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has announced a list of sanctions suspending commercial, financial, and energy transactions between Niger and the block. The block also threatened that it will restrict the access of the country’s new government to its crucial financial resources within the region. And use all measures to “restore constitutional order in the Republic of Niger.”
Analysts would have to, in the coming days, explore whether these measures will cause the military leadership to hand over the power they have been busy consolidating, or it will cause the peoples of Niger, largely unopposed to the overthrow, to rise against the military leadership. With pockets of celebration that have surfaced amongst the Nigerien people and throughout French West Africa demonstrated mostly by the burning of France’s flag, it also remains unclear whether the sanctions would soften the resolve of the military anti-imperialist fighters or further radicalise anti-France sentiment in the region.
In a declaration that opens a historical phase in the renewed fight for Africa’s total liberation and thorough decolonisation, the Mali and Burkina Faso governments said it is inviting “the living forces to be ready and mobilised” to solidarise with the Nigeriens in “these dark hours of Pan-Africanism.”