ECOWAS delegation arrives in Niamey for talks with military junta

Niamey, Aug. 19, 2023 – A delegation from ECOWAS regional nations arrived in Niger in a last-ditch diplomatic effort to reach a peaceful solution with mutinous soldiers who overthrew the country’s president last month.

A plane carrying the delegation landed in the capital Niamey at about 1pm (12:00 GMT) on Saturday, a day after the bloc’s military chiefs said they were ready to intervene to reinstate deposed President Mohamed Bazoum.

ECOWAS delegation led by Abubakar, earlier this month tried and failed to meet Bazoum and the coup leader, General Abdourahamane Tchiani.

Representatives from the West African regional bloc, ECOWAS, came to Niamey and joined efforts by United Nations Special Representative for West Africa and the Sahel, Leonardo Santos Simao, who arrived on Friday, in trying to facilitate a resolution to the continuing crisis.

On Friday, UN Spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, said Simao would meet the military rulers and other parties to try and facilitate a swift and peaceful resolution to Niger’s crisis.

“What we want to see is a return to the constitutional order. We want to see the liberation of the president and his family and restoration of his legitimate authority,” Dujarric said.

On August 10, ECOWAS ordered the deployment of a “standby force” to restore constitutional rule in the country.

The soldiers who overthrew democratically elected Bazoum in July have quickly entrenched themselves in power, rebuffed most dialogue efforts, and kept Bazoum, his wife and son under house arrest in the capital. (Aljazeera)

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