We’re Ready to Defend Ourselves-Niger Junta Tells ECOWAS
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News - August 20, 2023

We’re Ready to Defend Ourselves-Niger Junta Tells ECOWAS

The leader of the rebels who seized power in the Niger Republic, Gen. Abdourahamane Tchiani, has told the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) that his country does not want war.

Tchiani also added that Niger will be ready to defend itself if necessary. Newsmen reported that Tchiani said, “Neither the army nor the people of Niger want war, but we will resist any manifestation of it.” 

According to him, ECOWAS member countries do not realise that Niger has become the key to preventing the region from destabilisation against increased terrorist activity.

He also added that the sanctions imposed against his country aimed to put pressure on the rebels, not at finding a solution to the current situation.

Why do rebels seize power?

Tchiani also noted that rebels do not seek to seize power in the country but rather seek to come to a solution that would meet the interests of the people.

His statement comes as an ECOWAS delegation arrived in the capital of Niger. The delegation met with deposed President Mohamed Bazoum to assess the conditions of his detention.

They also held talks with Tchiani.

What you need to know

A coup took place in Niger on the 26th of July and Bazoum was ousted and detained by his own guard, led by Tchiani.

Reacting to the coup, ECOWAS suspended all financial aid to Niger, froze rebels’ assets, and banned commercial flights to and from the country. They also agreed to activate a standby force to compel the Nigerien military to reinstate Bazoum potentially.

Moreso, ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs Abdel-Fatau Musah said that ECOWAS general staff chiefs had agreed on a date for the beginning of military intervention. Musah however added that the West African bloc would not make it public.

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