The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has strongly condemned the fatal attacks carried out by armed groups resulting in the deaths of Nigerien soldiers.
According to the defense ministry, a distressing incident occurred on Tuesday, where seventeen Niger soldiers lost their lives in an assault believed to be orchestrated by suspected jihadists. This tragic event unfolded near the western border of Niger with Mali.
The ministry conveyed that an army detachment fell victim to a terrorist ambush in close proximity to the town of Koutougou. Injuries were also sustained, with another twenty soldiers harmed, six of them being in critical condition. All wounded personnel were promptly transported to the capital city, Niamey.
During their retreat, the army reported that over 100 assailants were successfully neutralized.
Despite these actions, ECOWAS expressed profound concern on Wednesday regarding the loss of soldiers in Niger. The organization conveyed its heartfelt sympathy to the families of the victims as they grapple with this unfortunate situation.The statement read in part, “ECOWAS has learnt with sadness various attacks by armed groups in the Republic of Niger that have led to the death of several Nigerien soldiers.
“ECOWAS condemns these attacks and conveys its deepest condolences to the people of Niger and the families of the soldiers who have lost their lives.”
ECOWAS also reiterated the call for the return of reins of power in the West African country to democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum who has been held in his residence since he was ousted by the military on July 26.
It said, “ECOWAS calls on the CNSP-military leadership in Niger to restore constitutional order in order to focus on the security of the country that had become increasingly fragile since the attempted coup d’etat against the democratically elected President, H.E. Mohamed Bazoum.”