Niger Military Junta Rejects Negotiation Meeting With ECOWAS, AU

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The Niger military junta has declined the tripartite peace mission offered by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union (AU), and the United Nations (UN), further deepening the diplomatic crisis surrounding the country.

Niger Military Junta Rejects Negotiation Meeting With ECOWAS, AU  This development was officially confirmed by ECOWAS in a statement released on Tuesday, marking the latest setback in efforts to reinstate constitutional order following the coup on July 26.

The peace delegation, constituting a joint effort by prominent African bodies, was aimed at facilitating the return to democratic governance and stability in Niger.

However, these diplomatic efforts were abruptly halted due to late-night communication from the military authorities in Niger, expressing their unavailability to host and engage with the delegation.

“As per the decision of the ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit held on 30 July 2023, the Community will continue to deploy all measures in order to restore constitutional order in Niger,” the statement reads.

An additional complication arose when Victoria Nuland, the acting deputy secretary of state of the United States, was also denied access to key figures within the military junta.

Nuland sought permission to meet with Abdourahamane Tiani, the coup leader, and ousted President Mohamed Bazoum, who has been held captive since the seizure of power. However, her requests were denied, leading to a two-hour discussion with other high-ranking army officers.

Nuland, commenting on the discussions, highlighted their candid nature and the challenges posed in achieving a negotiated resolution.

“These conversations were extremely frank and at times quite difficult, because, again, we’re pushing for a negotiated solution,” she stated. She further noted the junta’s steadfastness in their chosen path, one that diverges from the constitutional norms of Niger.

In an attempt to restore stability and democratic order, the Niger junta had been given a deadline by ECOWAS to reinstate President Mohamed Bazoum, a deadline which eventually expired on the preceding Sunday.

As tensions mount and diplomatic efforts continue to be thwarted, the regional bloc is set to convene once more on Thursday.

During this anticipated meeting, stakeholders will deliberate and strategize on how to proceed in their pursuit of reinstating constitutional governance within the beleaguered nation.

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