The West African bloc ECOWAS on Thursday approved military intervention in Niger “as soon as possible” to remove its military rulers following last month’s coup, Ivory Coast’s President Alassane Ouattara said Thursday.

According to the French News Agency, AFP, the head of state of the Republic of Ivory Coast, Alassane Ouattara, made the pronouncement on Thursday upon his return from the extra-ordinary summet in Abuja.

“The Chiefs of Staff will have other conferences to finalize things but they have the agreement of the Conference of Heads of State for the operation to start as soon as possible,” AFP quoted Ouattara as saying.

Earlier Thursday, the leaders of the bloc said they would deploy a “standby force” against the military leaders who seized control of Niger, deposing Mohamed Bazoum as president.

Ouattara said Ivory Coast would provide a battalion of 850 to 1,100 men alongside soldiers from Nigeria and Benin, and that other countries would join them.

“We are determined to restore president Bazoum to his functions,” he said.

Before leaving the summit in Abuja, Nigeria, Ouattara had told journalists that ECOWAS “has intervened in the past, in Liberia, in Sierra Leone, in Gambia and Guinea-Bissau” when constitutional order in the countries was threatened.

“Today we have a similar situation in Niger, and I like to say that ECOWAS cannot accept this.”

The new leader of Niger, Abdurahamane CHIADI, seems not to be deterred by the decision of the ECOWAS as a new Government in Niger was nominated on Thursday as well.

The new leader of Niger, General CHIADI, is supported by Mali and Burkina Faso, as well as the Republic of Russias.

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