Photo caption: Head of Niger junta Gen. Abdourahamane Tchiani
Niger junta ready for war, spurns Tinubu’s delegation, severes ties with Nigeria, US, France, Togo
The military junta in Niger Republic has severed ties with Nigeria after the efforts of Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) to resolve the ongoing impasse failed.
ECOWAS had issued a seven-day ultimatum for the reinstatement of President Mohamed Bazoum to avoid possible clash with the junta.
But President Bola Tinubu sent a high-powered delegation to the country to meet with the coup leaders, Thursday.
The delegation led by General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd) only met with representatives of the junta.
Subsequently, Niger severed ties with Nigeria, Togo, France, its coloniser, and the United States.
“The functions of the extraordinary and plenipotentiary ambassadors of the Republic of Niger” to France, Nigeria, Togo and the United States are terminated,” Radio France International quoted one of the putschists to have said on national television.
On July 26, Niger’s ousted leader, Bazoum was detained by members of the Presidential Guard, and that evening, the military announced that it had seized power.
Two days after toppling the government of Bazoum, Gen. Abdourahamane Tchiani, the commander of Niger’s presidential guard, declared himself the head of a transitional government.
Meanwhile, the US has thrown its weight behind the ECOWAS led by the Nigerian President, Bola Tinubu to reinstate Bazoum.
In a statement by the White House on on Thursday, US President, Joe Biden called for the immediate release of Bazoum.
The American leader said the release is essential for defending fundamental democratic values, and standing up for constitutional order, justice, and the right of peaceful assembly, which are foundation to the partnership between Niger and the US.
“I call for President Bazoum and his family to be immediately released, and for the preservation of Niger’s hard-earned democracy.
“The United States stands with the people of Niger to honor our decades-long partnership rooted in shared democratic values and support for civilian-led governance,” he said in the statement.
Amid fears of growing conflict, some European countries have evacuated their nationals from Niger.