Sanctions have been imposed, borders closed, and electricity supplies cut, pushing the country towards isolation.
As the deadline approaches, here are the potential scenarios:
Extension of Deadline
Ecowas may opt to extend the deadline to allow for more diplomatic efforts. This could be seen as a climbdown, yet if portrayed as giving diplomacy a chance, it might save face for the leaders.
Agreement on Transition Timetable
To defuse tensions, both the junta and Ecowas could agree on a roadmap to democratic rule. This might include releasing President Bazoum and political detainees to facilitate talks and maintain stability.
Ecowas has left the possibility of force on the table. While this has been used before, challenges are formidable. Niger‘s size and Nigeria's domestic security concerns complicate any intervention. Mali and Burkina Faso warn intervention could escalate into a regional conflict.
As the situation unfolds, international voices emphasize dialogue to avoid further turmoil. Ecowas has drafted a military intervention plan, with Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Senegal, and Benin expressing readiness to deploy troops if necessary.