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Burkina Faso, Mali send fighter jets and helicopters to Niger

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Burkina Faso and Mali deployed military aircraft in Niger on Friday in response to any potential military intervention by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Niger’s national television reported Friday night that Burkina Faso and Mali have deployed fighter jets and helicopters in the country to “respond to any form of aggression against Niger” from ECOWAS, a regional bloc comprising 15 West African nations.

It also said that military leaders from Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger convened Friday in the Nigerien capital Niamey to decide on “concrete measures” in case ECOWAS chooses to “escalate a war.”

During a press briefing after a two-day meeting of ECOWAS defense chiefs in Accra, Abdel-Fatau Musah, ECOWAS commissioner for political affairs, peace and security, said that if a peaceful resolution to the recent coup in Niger cannot be found through other means, a standby force is prepared to intervene in Niger at any time.

Abdourahamane Tchiani, the former commander of Niger’s presidential guard, declared himself the head of a transitional government last month after President Mohamed Bazoum was ousted in a military coup.

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