Taiwo Oladeji Adefisoye (PhD), Frederick Imuebe Braimah (PhD)


This paper examined the dilemma faced by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in utilizing military might to restore democratically elected civilian governments, particularly in the wake of the resurgence of military rule in the sub-region. Although not a recent phenomenon, the resurgence of military interventions and unlawful take-over in Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea, and especially in the Niger Republic have occupied the front burner in many quarters and have re-ignited scholarly and diplomatic debates on how best such an ugly trend could be arrested. Of particular interest to this paper is the military option considered by ECOWAS in restoring civilian governments in the sub-region. Therefore, this article assesses the short-term and long-term effects of joint military options in restoring civilian government in West Africa. The article provided a historical background to military take-over, ECOWAS military interventions in the past, and the consequences of such actions. The paper posited that ECOWAS must carefully weigh the political, economic, and security considerations of utilizing military force to restore civilian government in a sub-region that is volatile and ravaged by mammoth security challenges. Such a military option would further destabilize the region and cause unconceivable security and economic challenges. The paper recommends that the diplomatic option should be embraced while economic sanctions are imposed on the military junta in Niger.


Resurging military intervention, unlawful take-over, interventionist’s policy, civilian government, ECOWAS.

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