West African leaders are planning to hold an emergency summit Thursday to discuss Niger following the recent military coup. ECOWAS, the Economic Community of West African States, had threatened to use military force if Niger’s military leaders did not step down by Sunday, but there has been deep division within ECOWAS over how to respond after the deadline was ignored. The Senate in Nigeria has come out against the use of force, even though Nigeria is the largest and most powerful nation in ECOWAS.
On Monday, the United States announced it was freezing about $100 million in aid to Niger, where the U.S. maintains a major drone base. Meanwhile, Acting Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland traveled to Niger, where she met with some leaders of the coup who rejected her calls to step down. Nuland was denied a chance to meet with Niger’s ousted president, Mohamed Bazoum.