Niger: President Bola Tinubu woos Libya, Algeria against junta

Aug 4, 2023 - 19:03
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Niger: President Bola Tinubu woos Libya, Algeria against junta

On Thursday, President Bola Tinubu sent a mission to Libya and Algeria to discuss the issue in the Niger Republic, where a military coup ousted democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum. The delegation was led by Nigerian Ambassador Babagana Kingibe.

In order to swiftly end the nation's present political impasse, he sent a second mission to Niger, led by former Nigerian Head of State Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar.

The two delegations were briefed by Tinubu, the Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, who urged them to vigorously engage all stakeholders in order to ensure a successful and amicable resolution of the situation in Niger for African peace and development rather than a move to adopt the geopolitical positions of other countries.

Abdulsalami said the group would meet the coup leaders in Niger to explain the requests of the ECOWAS leadership in a statement following the meeting.

"We have just received orders to report to Niger and convey the displeasure of our Heads of State in the area with what transpired.

"And then issued a threat, demanding that the coup plotters stop their actions and return the presidency to a legitimately elected leader.

According to Abubakar, "We are going there to deliver this message to them, hear their response, and report back what they have said."

Speaking with Libya and Algeria, two nations that border Niger to the north, would foster the unity necessary for calm negotiations, according to Kingibe.

"Clearly, a situation of this nature calls for cooperation. Coordination with all parties involved in the circumstance is necessary.

In this way, Niger has highly important neighbors in both Libya and Algeria. In order to inform them of the ECOWAS position and enlist their support and collaboration, I would be traveling there with a message from President Tinubu, Kingibe stated.

He expressed hope that the negotiations will prevent a potential military invasion.

"We want to settle this diplomatically. Nobody wants a conflict, especially not with kind, neighborly people who live across the border from us and with whom we have a shared language, culture, and religion, the man remarked.

The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa'ad Abubakar III, and the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Omar Touray, are both members of the delegation led by Abdusalami.

Before the ECOWAS-issued one-week deadline for the Niger coupists to restore the expelled President to office, the delegations are anticipated back at the State House.

On Sunday, the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government convened in Abuja to discuss the Niger incident.

The regional bloc, ECOWAS, declared in its resolutions that it would consider "all measures necessary," including "the use of force," to bring back democratic administration in Niger.

Along with immediate sanctions, the ECOWAS Authority shut down the land and air borders between its member nations and Niger.

If the coup leaders do not restore the elected President Bazoum within a week of last Sunday, the bloc threatened to authorise the use of force.

The ECOWAS commissioner for political affairs, peace, and security, Abdel-Fatau Musah, stated that using military force was the absolute last option available and the ultimate resort. Nevertheless, he added, "We must be ready for the eventuality."

The alliance announced that it would dispatch a delegation to the nation to convey its demands.

Atiku Abubakar, a former vice president of Nigeria, has advocated for diplomatic action to end the Niger problem.

In a statement he personally signed, Atiku praised ECOWAS' efforts and pleaded with the regional group not to use force against the coup plotters in order to prevent the situation from getting worse.

"The crisis in the Republic of Niger requires diplomatic engagements, and that must mean that the channels for dialogue should be well sustained," he said in the statement.

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