The Community of West African States (ECOWAS), while favouring the path of dialogue, gave the green light to an armed intervention against the soldiers who took power on July 26 in Niger, by activating its ” standby force”.
But experts doubt the feasibility of a high-risk and difficult-to-implement military operation. The “standby force” is mandated by ECOWAS for missions related to peacekeeping. It has already been deployed in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea-Bissau and Gambia.
However, ECOWAS “has never agreed on the type of specific missions that these forces should carry out”, explains Marc-André Boisvert, researcher and consultant on the Sahel affiliated with the Center FrancoPaix in Montreal.
The establishment of such a force “depends on the will of the contributors”, which “requires a lot of negotiations between the countries”, he says. However, “there is a lot of mistrust between the countries” of ECOWAS according to him.