Tchiani seized power on July 26. Photo: Reuters

The officers who took power in Niger last month have said they would authorise the armies of neighbouring Burkina Faso and Mali to intervene in the country "in the event of aggression".

The foreign ministers of Burkina Faso and Mali, Olivia Rouamba and Abdoulaye Diop, respectively, visited Niamey on Thursday, where they were received by Niger's new ruler General Abdourahamane Tchiani.

They welcomed the signing of orders authorising the armies of Burkina Faso and Mali "to intervene on Niger territory in the event of aggression", said a statement read out by the deputy secretary general of Niger's Foreign Ministry.

Army officers toppled President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26, prompting the West African regional bloc ECOWAS to threaten to use force to reinstate him. But the regional bloc has recently softened it stance favouring dialogue.

Niger is the fourth nation in West Africa since 2020 to suffer a coup, following Burkina Faso, Guinea and Mali.

The juntas in Burkina Faso and Mali have said that any military intervention in their neighbour would be considered a "declaration of war" against their countries.

And Tchiani warned in a televised address on Saturday, "If an attack were to be undertaken against us, it will not be the walk in the park some people seem to think."

Troubled Niger

Earlier this month, ECOWAS said 11 of its 15 member states had agreed to intervene militarily if talks didn't work.

Niger was seen as one of the last democratic countries in the Sahel region below the Sahara Desert that Western nations could partner with to beat back a growing extremist insurgency linked to Al Qaeda.

France, other European countries and the United States have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into providing equipment and training for Niger's military and, in the case of France, have conducted joint operations.

Bazoum's election in 2021 was a landmark, opening the way to the country's first peaceful transition of power.

He survived two attempted coups before finally being toppled in what marked the fifth putsch since Niger gained independence from France in 1960.

TRT Afrika and agencies