ECOWAS team leaves Niger without meeting junta leader

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    The Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS team left Niger on Thursday without meeting the head of the junta that overthrew the government in a coup.

    A delegation member said on Friday that the ECOWAS team arrived in the capital Niamey on Thursday “but did not spend the night” as scheduled, nor meet with coup leader Abdourahamane Tiani or deposed President Mohamed Bazoum.

    The delegation was led by former Nigerian president Abdulsalami Abubakar and was initially scheduled to meet Tiani to present ECOWAS’s demands, according to the Nigerian presidency.

    ECOWAS imposed sanctions and gave the putschists a week to restore Bazoum to power.

    Meanwhile, Niger’s junta warned it would meet force with force.

    One of the putschists said in a statement on Thursday that, “Any aggression or attempted aggression against the State of Niger will see an immediate and unannounced response from the Niger Defence and Security Forces on one of (the bloc’s) members.”

    Niger’s Coup leader on Thursday announced they were ending the mandates of ambassadors to US, France, Nigeria and Togo.

    “The functions of the extraordinary and plenipotentiary ambassadors of the Republic of Niger” to France, Nigeria, Togo and the United States “are terminated”, one of the putschists said in a statement read on national television.

    President Mohamed Bazoum first statement

    The Niger dethroned President Mohamed Bazoum on Thursday said that if a coup attempt to depose him is successful, “it will have devastating consequences for our country, our region and the entire world.”

    This is the Niger President’s first statement since his presidential guard detained him on July 26 and took control of the Niger government.

    Bazoum called on “the US government and the entire international community to help us restore our constitutional order.

    I write this as a hostage.

    “Niger is under attack from a military junta… and I am just one of hundreds of citizens who have been arbitrarily and illegally imprisoned.

    “This coup must end, and the junta must free everyone they have unlawfully arrested.

    “In Africa’s troubled Sahel region, Niger stands as the last bastion of respect for human rights amid the authoritarian movements that have overtaken some of our neighbors.”

    Bazoum warned that Niger’s neighbors have increasingly invited in “criminal Russian mercenaries such as the Wagner Group at the expense of their people’s rights and dignity.

    “The entire Sahel region,” he said, “could fall to Russian influence via the Wagner Group, whose brutal terrorism has been on full display in Ukraine.”

    Terrorist movements like Boko Haram, he added, “will surely take advantage of Niger’s instability, using our country as a staging ground to attack neighboring countries and undermine peace, safety and freedom around the world.”

    Queen Ferry
    Queen Ferry
    Chinyere Treasure Ikechukwu known professionally as Queen Ferry, is a Nigerian business Executive, Journalist and Content Editor. She serves as the Vice-Chairman of Naijatraffic Limited. If Treasure is not blogging, she will be making delicious delicacy.

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