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Niger Coup: ECOWAS Envoy Meets Ousted President Mohamed Bazoum

ECOWAS envoy and Chad Transitional President, Mahamat Déby Itno has met with the deposed President of Niger Republic, Mohamed Bazoum, in Niger’s capital, Niamey.

It is the first time the ousted president has been seen since the military detained him after staging a coup last week.

Mr Déby is spearheading mediation efforts to end the crisis after West African leaders gave the junta a seven-day deadline to give up power or risk military action.

He also met the head of the junta.

Chad Transitional President, Mahamat Déby meets the coup leader, General Abdourahmane Tchiani in Niger Republic

Gen Abdourahmane Tchiani, the head of the presidential guards unit, declared himself Niger’s new ruler on Friday.

Mr Déby said his mediation effort was aimed at finding a “peaceful solution to the crisis which is shaking” Niger, which borders Chad.

He did not give further details, but his office released a photo of him sitting next to a smiling Mr Bazoum.

He was sent to Niger by leaders of the West African regional bloc, Ecowas, who said on Sunday that the junta had a week to return power to the elected president.

The regional bloc would “take all measures necessary to restore constitutional order” if its demands were not met.

“Such measures may include the use of force,” and military chiefs were to meet “immediately” to plan for an intervention, a statement added.

The junta has not commented on the demands, but it has vowed to defend Niger from any “aggression” by regional or Western powers. It has accused former colonial power France of planning military intervention.

The junta also announced that it is suspending the export of uranium and gold to France with immediate effect. Niger is the world’s seventh largest producer of Uranium.

The coup has prompted concern that Niger, a key Western ally in the fight against jihadist groups in West Africa, could pivot towards Russia.

Neighbouring Burkina Faso and Mali moved closer to Russia after staging their own coups in recent years


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