Niger military rulers seek dialogue with West African bloc: Ousted prime minister

Niger’s ousted prime minister says the country’s military rulers, who overthrew civilian authorities in a recent coup, seek dialogue with a West African bloc that has threatened military intervention to restore the ousted president to power.

Ouhoumoudou Mahamadou told French broadcaster TV5 Monde on Monday that “the junta have asked the ECOWAS delegation to return,” and the bloc’s members “will be in Niamey probably today (Monday) or tomorrow.”

“Negotiation is still possible,” Mahamadou added.

A delegation from the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) arrived in the Nigerien capital city of Niamey last Thursday. However, it did not stay overnight as scheduled, failing to meet with either the toppled president, Mohamed Bazoum, or coup leader, Abdourahamane Tiani.

Niger’s military has been holding Bazoum since last month in the seventh coup to hit Africa’s Sahel region in recent years, with Tiani, head of the powerful presidential guard, declaring himself leader.

On July 30, ECOWAS gave the coup leaders a week to return the ousted president to power or face consequences, including the use of force. Sunday was the last day of the deadline.

In its first official reaction following the expiry of the deadline, the bloc said it had agreed to hold a summit meeting next week to discuss how to proceed.

The ECOWAS bloc “leaders will be considering and discussing the political situation and recent developments in Niger during the summit,” it added.

“We are not disappointed… because our objective is not military intervention. Our objective is the restoration of democracy and the end of the sequestration of president Bazoum,” Mahamadou said in another part of his interview.

Check Also

British, French defense ministers in Ukraine to discuss further military aid to Kiev

Defense ministers of the United Kingdom and France have gathered in Kiev to discuss further …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *