ECOWAS: The Standby Force Is Around 700 Officers But Can Increase To A Brigade – Amb. Usman Sarki

Former deputy permanent representative of Nigeria to the United Nations, Ambassador Usman Sarki has spoken about the strength of the standby force of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) after the sub-regional body said it will continue to pursue diplomatic initiatives towards the restoration of democracy in Niger, without compromising the option of the deployment of its standby force. He alleged that the standby force consists of approximately 700 officers but it can increase to a brigade when fully deployed.

Speaking in an interview with Arise News, Ambassador Sarki said “None of the international actors supported the use of force so I think ECOWAS has read that message very clearly and now they are adjusting the position to continue with the diplomatic track”.

Speaking further, he said “Now the mobilization of the standby force, I think is symbolic because right now the standby force is around 700 officers and it is not fully deployed. When it is fully deployed it will increase to around 3000 that is a brigade or thereabout. But to get them from all the member countries will be a very big issue: a policy issue. They have to go back to their parliaments or national assembly so it will take some time”.