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ECOWAS needs no UNSC’ approval to intervene in Niger - commissioner

The Economic Community of West African States has legitimate grounds to it, Abdel-Fatau Musah said

RABAT, August 12. /TASS/. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has legitimate grounds to intervene in Niger, where a coup has taken place, without the UN Security Council’s approval, ECOWAS Commissioner for Peace and Security Abdel-Fatau Musah said.

"ECOWAS has legitimate grounds to intervene in Niger and does not need the approval of the UN Security Council," he was quoted as saying by Qatar’s television channel Al Jazeera.

"During our previous interventions, we notified the UN Security Council only after we had used military means," he said.

According to Musah, "Niger has no public consensus concerning the support of the rebels" who ousted President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26.

"Niger’s top brass supported the coup but did not lash out at the Bazoum government so as to avoid bloodshed in the country. If a military intervention in Niger occurs, we will see who in the army will stand up against the military council (rebels - TASS)," the ECOWAS commissioner for Peace and Security said.

In late July, a group of officers from Niger’s Presidential Guard launched a coup and announced that President Mohamed Bazoum was deposed. The National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland (Conseil national pour la sauvegarde de la patrie, CNSP) was formed to govern the country and was headed by General Abdurahmane Tchiani. Bazoum is still in custody at his residence. Having come back from the summit meeting in Abuja on August 10, Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara said that the ECOWAS leaders had approved the launch of a military operation in Niger "as soon as possible.".