ECOWAS Bloc Defense Chiefs Propose Standby Force for Regional Defense

Defense chiefs of West African nations have proposed a 5,000-strong standby force to combat the region’s security crises at an annual cost of $2.6 billion. According to Nigeria’s Defense Minister Mohammed Badaru, the standby force will also help stem the tide of military coups rolling across the region. The Defense Chiefs proposed this plan during a meeting in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital. They intend to present it for consideration at an upcoming ECOWAS summit that will have the bloc’s heads of state in attendance. However, analysts express doubts about the plan’s feasibility due to funding challenges and division within the 15-nation ECOWAS bloc, particularly from coup-hit countries like Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger. These countries exited the bloc after it placed now-lifted economic sanctions on them in an attempt to force a return to democracy.


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