Members of the Niger junta have reportedly begun to evacuate their families to Bukina Faso and Dubai over an imminent invasion by soldiers of the Economic Community of West African States.
The exercise was reportedly carried out at the country’s Agadez Airport, a few days ago, and it involved Gulfstream G550 jets.
A source familiar with the move said, “In the night of Friday, 11th to Saturday 12th of August 2023, the Nigerien junta, under the command of General Tchiani, evacuated all the putschists’ families. Indeed, several Gulfstream G550 type aircraft (in particular flight No. BFY824R) took off from Agadez Airport to Burkina Faso and Dubai with their women and children on board.”
According to the source, “General Tchiani appears to have had intelligence of an imminent attack by ECOWAS. He protects his family and leaves Nigerien people behind to a certain death. While he shelters his family, Tchiani is ready to send soldiers into a fratricidal war.
“Like any selfish and totalitarian putschists, he already uses state finances for personal purposes. It is at the expense of the Nigerien state that he sends his family to live richly under the Dubai sun. The junta does not hesitate a moment to set ablaze Niger while preparing a golden exit in Dubai.”
The move comes after ECOWAS said it was ready to intervene militarily in Niger Republic if diplomatic efforts to persuade the ruling military junta, which ousted President Mohamed Bazoum in a July 26 coup, to restore democracy in the country failed.
ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Abdel-Fatau Musah, said on Thursday in Ghana at a gathering of West African defence chiefs, who were meeting to deliberate on a standby force.
“Let no one be in doubt that if everything else fails, the valiant forces of West Africa…are ready to answer to the call of duty,” Reuters quoted Musah as saying. “By all means available, constitutional order will be restored in the country,” he added