“A deadline set by other West African countries for coup leaders in Niger to back down and liberate the nation’s elected president passed on Sunday without regional militaries launching the armed intervention they had threatened.

Eleven leaders from the Economic Community of West African States at an emergency summit last weekend said they would consider using force to return Nigerien President Mohamed Bazoum to power.

But by Sunday evening, there were no signs of a mobilization of armed forces in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation and home to the region’s largest military. Local media and politicians have criticized Nigerian President Bola Tinubu for supporting an intervention, pointing to the military’s challenges in containing Islamist militants, bandits and other security threats inside Nigeria.”

Analyst Comment: As previously predicted, it was very unlikely the Niger junta would back down, and regional war would be the likely result. However, Nigeria is facing its own domestic problems, and engaging in a war with Niger could inflame, already substantial, popular unrest. Additionally, Russia’s Wagner group has expressed interest in moving more forces into the region, although so far it is unclear whether they would directly defend the new Niger government against attacks from neighboring countries like Nigeria.