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Thu, Aug 10, 2023 1:15 PM

West African Leaders Call on Niger Junta to Cease Military Coup

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West African Leaders Call on Niger Junta to Cease Military Coup
West African leaders have urged the Niger junta to halt their military coup in the West African nation. The leaders held a summit in Nigeria to discuss the situation and approve possible actions to address the crisis. Despite the bloc threatening to use force to restore democracy, the coup leaders have refused to surrender. This article provides an overview of the current political crisis in Niger and the concerns raised by international organizations.

Niamey/Abuja (ANTARA) - West African leaders have called on the Niger junta to cease their military coup in the West African nation.

The heads of state in the region held a summit in Nigeria aimed at agreeing on actionable steps for Niger, where the coup leaders have refused to surrender, despite the bloc threatening to use violence to restore democracy.

Since the surprising power seizure on July 26, the rebel junta has rejected diplomatic overtures and ignored the August 6 deadline set by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to reinstate the ousted President, Mohamed Bazoum.

Mahamane Roufai Laouali, referred to as the "Government Secretary General," read out the names of the ministers on television without elaborating on further plans.

The interim government formed comprises only half the number of ministers compared to the previous government.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed concerns about Bazoum and his family after his party reported that they were being held captive at the presidential residence without electricity and running water, left without fresh food for days.

"The UN Secretary-General once again calls for Bazoum to be immediately released unconditionally and restored as head of state," said a UN spokesperson on Wednesday.

The meeting in Nigeria's capital, Abuja, may provide a crucial moment in the impasse.

Leaders within the bloc have agreed on further steps, which could include military intervention, described by ECOWAS officials as a last-ditch effort.

Nigeria's envoy and ECOWAS Chairman, Bola Tinubu, met with the coup leaders in Niamey on Wednesday to offer a glimmer of hope for dialogue after previous missions were rejected.

Any escalation would further destabilize the Sahel region in West Africa, one of the poorest regions in the world, where Islamist uprisings have displaced millions and triggered a famine crisis.

The coup, initially sparked by internal politics, has become an issue of international concern, with ECOWAS, the UN, and Western countries urging the junta to step down, while neighboring Mali and Burkina Faso's military governments have pledged to support the junta.

Source: Reuters

Source of content: OOO News 2023-08-10 News

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