ECOWAS rejects 3-year plan proposed by Niger military junta coup leader Tchiani

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The three-year transition blueprint put forth by General Abdourahamane Tchiani was rejected by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) who had said while their standby forces should be considered a last resort, the window for dialogue could not remain open eternally.

On Sunday, Abdourahamane Tchiani, the presidential guard that began the attempted coup on Niger and has been keeping President Mohamed Bazoum of Niger hostage, took to national television to lay out his intention to reinstate civilian rule within the next three years.

Abdourahamane Tchiani, following a coup on July 26, alongside others, overthrew President Mohamed Bazoum and took control.

During a televised speech on Saturday, General Tchiani expressed the desire for peaceful dialogue, emphasizing that both the junta and the people of Niger were averse to conflict.

Nevertheless, Abdel-Fatau Musah, ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace, and Security, criticized General Tchiani’s proposal in an interview with the BBC, deeming it unacceptable.

Over the weekend, a significant number of Nigerians rallied in support of the new military regime, while ECOWAS continued to advocate for a diplomatic resolution, threatening military intervention should talks with the coup leaders prove fruitless.

Amid these developments, a government official from Niger disclosed that negotiations between ECOWAS, led by former Head of State General Abdulsalami Abubakar, and the junta had yielded limited progress, unveiling deep divisions within the presidential guard.

Protesters took to the streets, denouncing France and ECOWAS, particularly its plans for military intervention. These demonstrators were against the sanctions imposed by ECOWAS and waved placards reading “stop the military intervention.”

Meanwhile, the deteriorating conditions under which President Bazoum, his wife and 20-year-old son had been held hostage since July 26th mildly improved last week following international pressure, with the military junta now allowing Bazoum’s doctor to visit every few days, although the family remain deprived of electricity and water.

The ECOWAS delegation that arrived in Niger to explore peaceful avenues for resolving the impasse with the coup leaders met with President Bazoum.

Most ECOWAS member states, except for Cape Verde and those under military rule, had affirmed their preparedness to engage in a military intervention in Niger.

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