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    Nigeriens Call for Mass Recruitment of Volunteers as the Junta Faces Possible Regional Invasion

    Nigeriens Call for Mass Recruitment of Volunteers as the Junta Faces Possible Regional Invasion

    , Niger — Nigeriens are preparing for a possible invasion by countries in the region, three weeks after mutinous soldiers ousted the nation's democratically elected president.

    Residents in the capital, Niamey, are calling for the mass recruitment of volunteers to assist the in the face of a growing threat by the West African regional bloc, ECOWAS, which says it will use force if the junta doesn't reinstate deposed President Mohamed Bazoum. ECOWAS has activated a “standby force” to restore order in Niger after the junta ignored a deadline to release and reinstate Bazoum.

    The initiative, spearhead by a group of locals in Niamey, aims to recruit tens of thousands of volunteers from across the country to register for the Volunteers for the Defense of Niger. The group would fight, assist with medical care, and provide technical and engineering logistics among other functions, in case the junta needs help, Amsarou Bako, one of the founders, told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

    “It's an eventuality. We need to be ready whenever it happens,” he said. The recruitment drive will launch Saturday in Niamey as well as in cities where invasion forces might enter, such as near the borders with and Benin, two countries that have said they would participate in an intervention. Anyone over 18 years old can register and the list will be given to the junta to call upon people if needed, said Bako. The junta…

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