(BBC) West African nations have approved armed intervention in Niger “as soon as possible”, the Ivory Coast president says, following a meeting to discuss the coup.

At the meeting, leaders of the Ecowas regional bloc said they had agreed to deploy a “standby” military force.

However, they have not given any details of the size of the force.

Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu said the use of force would be a “last resort”.

A military junta seized power in Niger on July 26.

After the Ecowas meeting in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, Ivory Coast’s Alassane Ouattara said Ecowas had intervened in African countries in order to restore constitutional order before.

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

Mr Ouattara said the Ivory Coast would provide a battalion of 850 to 1,100 men, and said soldiers from Nigeria and Benin would also be deployed.

The overall size of the force and how many troops each country is expected to contribute not known now but a presidential source in Abuja told the BBC that Ecowas would want to engage in a “show of force” to convince the Niger coup leaders that it’s ready t
follow through its threat.

“The ultimate goal is to try to bring General Abdourahmane Tchiani to the dialogue table,” he said.

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