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Monday, July 15, 2024

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    The Niger military administration has agreed to participate in an ECOWAS discussion mission:

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    The ECOWAS commissioner for political affairs acknowledged on Saturday the sending of a team to Niamey to meet with coup leaders, stating the military administration led by Gen. Abdourahamane Tchiani accepted to discussion.

    “Finally, they tell us they are receiving the mission today, and we have taken up their offer,” Abdel-Fatau Musa told TV3 Ghana.

    The action comes after two failed ECOWAS trips to Niger following the July 26 coup that toppled President Mohamed Bazoum.

    The first expedition, commanded by former Nigerian President Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar and Sultan of Sokoto Sa’adu Abubakar, was restricted to Niamey’s airport, while the second, comprised of representatives from the West African bloc, the African Union, and the United Nations, was denied admission.

    Dr. Musa expressed confidence about the increased desire for engagement, but emphasised the 15-member group’s commitment to restoring constitutional order and returning Bazoum.

    He stated that conversations would be constantly followed, and that if diplomacy failed, the military option would be considered. “We’ll see how the discussions progress.” If we realise that negotiations are going nowhere, I can guarantee you that we will not participate in interminable discourse [or] deaf dialogue,” he stated.

    The official denied that ECOWAS was on the verge of war, emphasising that Niger’s military administration, also known as the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland, was to blame for the current standoff. “We are not the ones who are closing the door on them. “It’s more like they shut the door on us,” he explained.

    Musa has been in Ghana since Thursday and attended the ECOWAS military chiefs’ two-day special conference, which finished on Friday with military officials proclaiming preparedness for potential involvement in Niger.

    On August 10, ECOWAS activated its standby force to restore constitutional order in the coup-torn country.

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