Niger regime will not meet with ECOWAS delegation

The leaders of Niger’s coup have informed the West African bloc ECOWAS that they are unable to accommodate the suggested mission to Niamey due to “security” concerns, as per an official letter seen by media on Tuesday.

“The current context of public anger and revolt following the sanctions imposed by ECOWAS does not permit the welcoming of this delegation in the required conditions of serenity and security,” the foreign ministry said in a letter to the ECOWAS representation in Niamey.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) applied trade and financial sanctions against Niger following the ousting of the nation’s elected president, Mohamed Bazoum, by rebel soldiers on July 26.

The regional bloc also issued a deadline, which lapsed on Sunday, for the restoration of Bazoum or potentially facing the prospect of military intervention.

It had intended to dispatch a delegation to Niamey, the capital, on Tuesday before a crisis summit scheduled for Thursday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

The coup leaders’ letter, dated Monday, said: “The postponement of the announced mission to Niamey is necessary, as is the reworking of certain aspects of the (delegation’s) schedule.”

The schedule “includes meetings with certain personalities which cannot take place for obvious reasons of security given the atmosphere of the threat of aggression against Niger,” it said.

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