The Leader of mutineers that took control of the Niger Republic, General Abdourahamane Tchiani, conveyed on Saturday that his nation is not inclined towards war but is prepared to defend itself if circumstances demand.
Tchiani was quoted by Al Jazeera as stating, “Both the military and the citizens of Niger are averse to conflict, but we will stand against any indication of it.”
He further pointed out that the nations within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) do not seem to recognize that Niger has now become crucial to preventing destabilization in the region due to escalating terrorist activities.
Tchiani also mentioned that the sanctions imposed on his country were intended to exert pressure on the rebels rather than to find a resolution to the ongoing situation.
Additionally, Tchiani emphasized that the rebels are not aiming to seize power in the country; instead, they seek to arrive at a solution that aligns with the interests of the people.
Reports indicated that an ECOWAS delegation arrived in Niger’s capital and met with the deposed President, Mohamed Bazoum, to evaluate his detention conditions. Later, the same delegation held discussions with Tchiani.
Niger experienced a coup on July 26, during which Bazoum was ousted and detained by his own security personnel under the leadership of Tchiani.
Subsequent to the coup, ECOWAS suspended all financial assistance to Niger, froze the rebels’ assets, and imposed a ban on commercial flights to and from the country.
During an early August summit in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, ECOWAS leaders collectively decided to activate a standby military force that could potentially compel the Nigerien military to reinstate Bazoum.
On Friday, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Abdel-Fatau Musah, noted that the ECOWAS chiefs of general staff had agreed on a commencement date for military intervention but would not disclose it publicly.
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