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Nigerian delegation says Niger navy leaders open to diplomacy | Battle Information

Nigerian Islamic students meet Niger coup leaders as regional bloc ECOWAS explores choices to revive civilian rule.

Coup leaders in Niger say they’re open to diplomacy to resolve a standoff with West Africa’s regional bloc, in line with a gaggle of senior Nigerian Islamic students who’ve met the navy leaders within the capital, Niamey.

The go to comes because the Financial Neighborhood of West African States (ECOWAS) explores its choices to revive civilian rule in Niger, together with potential navy intervention, following the elimination of President Mohamed Bazoum final month – the seventh coup in West and Central Africa in three years.

In an indication the West African bloc continues to be pushing for a peaceable decision, ECOWAS Chairman and Nigerian President Bola Tinubu accredited Saturday’s mission to Niamey by the delegation of Islamic students, who had vowed to advertise dialogue.

The group’s assembly with navy authorities chief Common Abdourahamane Tchiani lasted a number of hours, mentioned Sheikh Abdullahi Bala Lau, who led the delegation.

“He mentioned their doorways have been open to discover diplomacy and peace in resolving the matter,” Lau mentioned in an announcement on Sunday.

Tchiani reportedly emphasised the historic ties between Niger and Nigeria, saying the international locations “weren’t solely neighbours however brothers and sisters who ought to resolve points amicably”.


There was no rapid remark from the navy leaders on the assembly, however Tchiani’s reported feedback are one of many few latest indicators that he’s open to negotiation.

The coup leaders’ earlier rebuffs of diplomatic efforts by ECOWAS, the US and others had raised the spectre of additional battle within the Sahel area of West Africa, the place armed teams have elevated their affect in recent times.

With diplomacy faltering final week, ECOWAS activated a standby navy pressure that it mentioned can be deployed as a final resort if talks failed.

For now, the bloc is pursuing efforts for additional negotiations. On Saturday, the bloc’s parliament mentioned it will ask Tinubu, who holds the revolving chairmanship, for permission to go to Niger, its spokesperson mentioned.

French Defence Minister Sebastien Lecornu mentioned in an interview with the regional newspaper Var-Matin on Sunday that France totally helps the most recent selections by ECOWAS. Requested if he feared armed intervention in Niger, Lecornu replied: “No.”

Coup leaders search allies

Any navy intervention by the bloc might additional pressure regional ties as navy rulers in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Guinea have voiced help for Niger’s new navy authorities.

On Saturday, Tchiani despatched a delegation, led by his defence chief Common Moussa Salaou Barmou, to the Guinean capital Conakry to thank leaders there for his or her help – an indication of the coup leaders’ need to affirm alliances as they stand as much as regional and different powers.

“We’re Pan-African. When our individuals have issues, we’re at all times current, and we’ll at all times be there,” Guinea’s interim President Mamady Doumbouya mentioned on the assembly, in line with a video shared late on Saturday evening by the presidency.

Within the footage, Doumbouya – who led a coup in Guinea in September 2021 – didn’t say whether or not Conakry’s help for the Niger coup leaders would come with navy backing if ECOWAS determined to make use of navy pressure. Mali and Burkina Faso have already mentioned they’d assist defend Niger.

The July 26 coup is seen as a serious blow to many Western nations, which seen Niger as a associate within the Sahel area that they may work with to beat again a rising rebellion by teams linked to al-Qaeda and ISIL (ISIS).

The US and France have greater than 2,500 navy personnel within the area and along with different European international locations have invested tons of of thousands and thousands of {dollars} in navy help and coaching Niger’s forces.

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