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Coup in Niger: The United States and West African countries called for a peaceful solution to the conflict

Coup in Niger: The United States and West African countries called for a peaceful solution to the conflict

Supporters of Niger’s military junta take part in a demonstration in front of a French army base in Niamey (Reuters/Mahamadou Hamidou)

Several world powers requested this Tuesday Peaceful solution to the crisis in NigerBefore a meeting of the leaders of the armies of West African countries (Cedeao) to discuss a possible armed intervention to restore President Mohamed Bazoum, who was overthrown by a coup.

Until the July 26 coup, Niger was a major ally of Western countries in the fight against jihadist groups operating in the Sahel, a long, semi-arid strip that borders the Sahara Desert to the south.

We are still focused on the diplomatic channel To achieve (…) a return to the constitutional order, and I believe there is still room to obtain this result through diplomacy,” the US Secretary of State declared, Anthony Blinken.

It increases the pressure that many countries have applied, including through the Economic Community of West African States [Comunidad Económica de Estados de África Occidental]About the military leaders responsible for changing the constitutional order in Niger (…) I think they (the coup leaders) should take this into account, in addition to the fact that their actions isolated them from the region and the world, added the head of US diplomacy.

Hours ago, the Russian president, Russian President Vladimir PutinHe urged seeking a “peaceful political and diplomatic” solution to the crisis during a phone call with Asami GuettaThe commander of the army that governs Mali.

Mali, a neighbor of Niger, quickly expressed its solidarity with the army that took power in Niamey after the July 26 coup.

The US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, has called for a peaceful solution to the crisis in Niger (Reuters/Eduardo Muñoz)

On the other hand, the new Nigerian government appointed by the regime said, Ali Mahman Lamin Al-ZeinHe traveled to Chad on Tuesday, where he was greeted by its prime minister and president.

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Zayn uploaded a “message” from Niger’s new strongman, General Abdul Rahman TianiTo express “brotherhood” and “renew the sense of good neighborliness” between the two countries.

Prime Minister, head of government [chadiano]And Saleh KabzaboOn Tuesday the 15th, he received the Prime Minister of the National Council for the Protection of the Fatherland (CNSP) in Niger, Ali Mahman Lamin Al-ZeinOn a business trip to Chad,” the Prime Minister’s Office wrote on Facebook.

Chad, a country with great military power, really advanced last week in that You will not participate in any interference With the countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), of which it is not part.

The election of President Bazoum in 2021 was a watershed moment for Niger, its first peaceful transfer of power since its independence from France in 1960. But since the coup, Bazoum has been held in his home with his wife and son.

On 30 July, the Economic Community of West African States issued a seven-day ultimatum to restore Bazoum to power, for fear of resorting to force. But the term ended without the new rulers relenting.

The military meeting to be held on Thursday and Friday in Accra, Ghana’s capital, was scheduled for last Saturday, however Postponed for “technical reasons”According to military sources.

The head of the Chadian military council received the prime minister appointed by the coup leaders in Niger (Europe Press)

The leaders of the Economic Community of West African States last week ordered the deployment of their “reserve forces” to restore constitutional order in Niger, despite their insistence on their preference for resolving the crisis through diplomatic channels.

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Analysts say a military intervention would be politically and tactically risky, due, among other things, to the divisions that exist among the fifteen members of the Economic Community of West African States.

Since the beginning of the crisis, the ruling military has sent mixed signals.

On Saturday, Nigerian Muslim representatives traveled to Niger, with the authorization of the Nigerian President, Tinubu ballwhich holds the rotating presidency of the Economic Community of West African States.

After the appointment, the mission chief confirmed that General Tianyi was willing to “explore diplomatic and peace channels to resolve” the crisis.

But on Sunday The new leaders announced that they would be brought to trial for “high treason”. and “undermining the internal and external security of Niger”, a gesture condemned by ECOWAS countries as a “new provocation” of the military regime.

Bazoum, 63, survived two coup attempts before he was overthrown in July in the fifth coup in the country’s history.

His overthrow dealt a heavy blow to French and American strategy in the Sahel region.

ECOWAS military leaders will speak again about possible intervention in Niger (EFE / EPA / STR)

For their part, human rights activists in Niger They say they have not been given access to the detained senior political officials.

The military that led the coup arrested several ministers and other political leaders, according to Ali Idrissa, executive secretary of the Network of Organizations for Transparency and Budget Analysis, a local human rights group. He said requests to see them and check their status had not received a response.

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Niger was one of the last allies of Western powers in the Sahel region after the coups in Mali (2020) and Burkina Faso (2022). The area has been hit hard by the actions of jihadist groups such as the Islamic State and Al Qaeda.

France has 1,500 soldiers in Niamey as part of a Nigerian-led operation to fight jihadists, while the United States has about 1,000 soldiers.

Military coups in Mali and Burkina Faso had already forced French troops to leave those countries, who soon after had to withdraw from the Central African Republic.

(With information from Agence France-Presse and the Associated Press)

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