ECOWAS delegation arrives Niger for dialogue

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By Francis Ugwu

A delegation from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has arrived in Niger for talks with the military officers who seized power and ousted President Mohamed Bazoum.

The ECOWAS delegation is headed by former Nigerian leader Abdulsalami Abubakar.

Niger’s governing military council has also confirmed the arrival of ECOWAS representatives.

A plane carrying the delegation landed in Niger’s capital, Niamey, on Saturday, a day after the ECOWAS military chiefs said they were ready to intervene to reinstate Bazoum.

ECOWAS defence chiefs met within the week in Accra, Ghanaian capital, to fine-tune details of a potential military operation to restore Bazoum if ongoing negotiations with coup leaders fail.

DAILY POST reported that ECOWAS had agreed to activate a “standby force” as a last resort to restore democracy in Niger after generals toppled and detained Bazoum.

However, the West African bloc says it favours dialogue to defuse the crisis.

Meanwhile, a source close to the latest delegation said it would send “a message of firmness” to the army officers and meet Bazoum.

“We are ready to go any time the order is given,” Abdel-Fatau Musah, an ECOWAS commissioner for political affairs and security, said on Friday after the military chiefs’ meeting.

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