Youths in Niger’s capital, Niamey have formed vigilante groups ahead of possible military intervention by the country’s neighbours to unseat the new junta.
Recall that the ultimatum issued by the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS’ to the junta to restore normalcy in the country elapsed on Sunday.
Niger’s democratically elected President, Mohamed Bazoum is still held captive by the military after being ousted in a military coup on July 26 by the new junta.
However, vigilante groups have set up traffic checkpoints at several roundabouts overnight and were seen inspecting vehicles, according to a dpa reporter in the country.
The youths were said to belong to support committees that previously organised demonstrations backing Niger’s new military rulers led by Bazoum’s former head bodyguard, General Abdourahmane Tchiani.
Niger’s military rulers closed the country’s airspace late on Sunday, warning that any attempt to violate it would be met with an “energetic and immediate response.’’
The country’s airspace would be closed to all aircraft until further notice, a statement from the military rulers added.
ECOWAS, which groups 15 West African countries, issued its ultimatum to the junta last Sunday.
The organisation’s military chiefs have since drawn up a plan for possible military intervention. (NAN)