Pope Francis calls for peaceful end to the Niger crisis

Pope Francis expressed hope Sunday for a peaceful solution to the crisis in Niger following the military coup in the West African nation. 

The pontiff told the faithful in St. Peter’s Square that he is following events with concern, joining an appeal “for peace in the country and stability in the Sahel region.” He called on the international community “to find a peaceful solution as soon as possible, for the good of all.”

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has responded with sanctions and even the threat of military intervention if the junta doesn’t stand down.

However on Saturday, General Abdourahamane Tchiani, who ousted President Mohamed Bazoum, said he plans a gradual return to democracy within three years.

The region’s Catholic bishops released a statement opposing any military intervention in Niger, saying it would only worsen the situation

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