A West African delegation has arrived in Niamey to attempt a new diplomatic mediation with the military who have taken power in Niger, according to Serge Daniel, the correspondent for and RFI in the region. Follow the latest developments in Niger hour by hour.
The President of Togo reportedly worked to allow a new delegation to travel to Niamey. According to Serge Daniel, the correspondent for and RFI in the region, the program for the ECOWAS delegation in Niamey includes two key moments: a meeting with the head of the junta to demand a return to constitutional order, and a meeting with Mohamed Bazoum to remind him that ECOWAS only recognizes him as the president of Niger.
As Serge Daniel points out, this delegation was poorly received during their first visit after the coup. The President of Togo, Faure Gnassingbé, is said to have played a discreet role in allowing a new delegation to travel to Niamey.
Arrival of a West African delegation in Niamey to attempt a new mediation. A West African delegation has arrived in Niamey to attempt a new diplomatic mediation with the military who have taken power in Niger, according to Serge Daniel, the correspondent for and RFI in the region.
The plane landed around 1 p.m. (12 p.m. GMT) with a delegation of ECOWAS emissaries on board, following the announcement by the regional organization that it is ready to engage in armed intervention to restore constitutional order in Niger.
The delegation is led by former Nigerian President Abdulsalami Abubakar, according to the communication department of the National Council for the Safeguarding of the Homeland (CNSP), which took power in the coup on July 26.
Abdulsalami Abubakar had already traveled to Niamey on behalf of ECOWAS on August 3, but did not meet either the new strongman of Niger, General Abdourahamane Tiani, or the overthrown president.
The ECOWAS Community could send a delegation to Niamey on Saturday, with the aim of “continuing to pursue peaceful means to restore constitutional order,” according to Abdel-Fatau Musah, the Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security of the regional organization.
However, the question of their reception in Niamey remains unanswered, as previous ECOWAS delegations have always failed to meet with the new strongman of Niger, Abdourahamane Tiani, or the overthrown president Mohamed Bazoum.
According to a source close to the West African organization, this delegation wishes to convey a “message of firmness” to the military in Niamey and meet with President Bazoum who is still held captive.
“We are ready to resolve the problem peacefully, but it takes two to tango,” said Abdel-Fatau Musah. However, he added, “we will not be the ones knocking on the door while they slam it in our face.”
The Prime Minister appointed by the Nigerian junta, Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine, assured the New York Times on Friday evening that the military who overthrew President Mohamed Bazoum in the coup on July 26 will not harm him.
In this interview conducted by the American newspaper from Dakar, Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine, a civilian, also stated that the Nigerian military who appointed him have “no intention” of collaborating with Russia or the mercenary group Wagner.
When asked about the fate of Mohamed Bazoum, who is a concern for the international community, Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine responded that “nothing will happen to him because we do not have a tradition of violence in Niger.”
Throughout the day on August 18, the ECOWAS force is “ready to intervene” in Niger as soon as the leaders of the West African countries give the order, said a spokesperson at the end of the second day of the chiefs of staff meeting in Ghana.
The organization has also announced a “possible” diplomatic mission to Niger on Saturday. AFP