The military junta in the Republic of Niger, led by General Abdourahmane Tchiani, is considering a significant diplomatic shake-up following failed peace talks with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). This action includes the possible recall of the Nigerien Ambassadors to Nigeria, Togo, France, and the United States.
Internal defence sources in Niamey, Niger’s capital, confirmed this development, revealing that the military junta is also planning to evict French and US troops from Niger and terminate all existing Memorandum of Understanding agreements with France.
Tchiani, the former Head of Presidential Guard for deposed President Mohamed Bazoum, seized power in a palace coup on July 26, 2023. Since then, he has declared himself the Head of State.
In response to this political crisis, ECOWAS sent two delegations on Thursday, one to Niamey and the other to Libya and Algeria. The first delegation, led by former Nigerian Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd.), was tasked with negotiating with the coup leaders and other parties involved in the crisis. The second delegation, led by Ambassador Babagana Kingibe, was to engage with Libyan and Algerian leaders concerning the Niger crisis.
President Bola Tinubu, Chairman of the ECOWAS’ Authority of Heads of State and Government, was responsible for dispatching both teams and emphasized the importance of resolving the crisis for the sake of African peace and development.
Despite the failure of the negotiations in Niamey, both leaders of the ECOWAS missions remain optimistic about the future outcomes. General Abubakar stated that his team’s task was to convey the regional leaders’ displeasure with the developments in Niger and to insist on a return to democratic governance. Meanwhile, Kingibe expressed hope for a diplomatic solution and the importance of solidarity and cooperation with Libya and Algeria, Niger’s northern neighbours.