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Niger junta leader condemns ECOWAS sanctions, as Pope calls for peace

Niger junta leader condemns ECOWAS sanctions, as Pope calls for peace

Leader of the Niger junta, General Abdourahamane Tchiani, has condemned the sanctions imposed on his country by the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS), saying they were unjustified.

He stated this in a televised broadcast Saturday night.

Tchiani demanded the restoration of electricity cut off by the Nigerian government as part of the embargoes slammed on the coupists following the overthrow of President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26.

He spoke after meeting with a delegation of ECOWAS led by the former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd).

He said the regional bloc’s economic sanctions were unnecessary, adding that they were aimed at punishing the “good people” of Niger.

According to him, children and other patients were dying in hospitals because of lack of electricity.

He said border closures make access to food, drugs and other essentials very difficult.

Following the military takeover in Niger Republic, ECOWAS issued a seven-day ultimatum to the junta to reinstate the ousted President Bazoum.

Despite pressures from the organisation and other countries, the military leaders in the country have refused to reinstate Bazoum.

In his 12-minute speech, Tchiani claimed ECOWAS was “getting ready to attack Niger by setting up an occupying army in collaboration with a foreign army.

“I reaffirm here that our ambition is not to confiscate power. I also reaffirm our readiness to engage in any dialogue, as long as it takes into account the orientations desired by the proud and resilient people of Niger,” he added.

Pope calls for peace in Niger

Pope Francis on Sunday urged a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Niger Republic.

“I am following with concern what is happening in Niger, and join the bishops’ call in favour of peace in the country and stability in the Sahel,” said Pope Francis, addressing the faithful in St Peter’s Square after his Angelus prayer.

“I join with prayer the efforts of the international community to find a peaceful solution as soon as possible for the good of everyone,” said the 86-year-old.

Army officers in Niger ousted President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26, making Niger the fourth West African nation to suffer a coup since 2020.

Following the military takeover in, ECOWAS issued a seven-day ultimatum to the junta to reinstate the ousted President Bazoum.

Despite pressures from the organisation and other countries, the military leaders in the country have refused to reinstate Bazoum.

General Abdourahamane Tchiani, leader of the Niger junta, has said the army will hand over power to the civilian government within the next three years.

He stated this in a televised broadcast on Saturday night.

But ECOWAS force said it is ready to intervene in Niger ‘anytime the order is given’, after a two-day meeting of the regional bloc’s military chiefs in Accra, the capital city of Ghana.

 

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