Niger authorities announced the termination of the military pact with Benin, accusing him of allegedly authorizing the deployment of troops on its territory for possible military intervention by ECOWAS.
In a statement read on national television, the military said Benin had “authorized the deployment of soldiers, mercenaries and military equipment” in the context of a possible ECOWAS intervention. As a result, the Niger authorities “decide to abandon the military cooperation agreement” with Benin.
At the end of July, the Niger military announced on national television the removal of the country’s President Mohamed Bazoum from power and the formation of the National Council for the Defense of the Fatherland (CNSP). Leaders of most Western countries and the regional organization Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) condemned the coup. In early August, participants in an emergency meeting of the Chiefs of General Staff of the Armed Forces of the ECOWAS countries, held in Abuja, Nigeria, adopted a plan in the event of military intervention in Niger.
Niger, a former French colony, remained one of the last Western allies in the Sahel. In addition, the country has rich reserves of uranium, on which France depends. As noted by French media, this African country accounts for 15% to 17% of the uranium used to produce electricity in France. 1.5 thousand and 1 thousand French troops are currently deployed in Niger and Chaden, respectively.