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Niger: ECOWAS to decide on next move after ignored ultimatum

Officials of the West African bloc ECOWAS, will meet in Abuja, Nigeria on Thursday, August 10, to discuss the situation in Niger.

The junta in the West African country has shown no signs of considering the calls to cede power and reinstate deposed President Mohamed Bazoum, following the coup on July 26.

ECOWAS had given the military leaders seven days to return to constitutional rule. The deadline on Sunday, August 6, was not respected. The junta rather responded by shutting the country’s airspace, with sympathizers of the new leadership coming out in huge numbers in the capital Niamey, to express their support for General Abdourahamane Tchiani.

All attempts to initiate peaceful negotiations have failed, with the Nigerien soldiers rejecting a proposed visit by ECOWAS, the AU and UN.

The United States acting Deputy Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland, met with some of the coup leaders in Niger on Monday, and said they refused to allow her meet with President Bazoum. She said the coup officers were unreceptive to her appeals to start negotiations and restore constitutional rule.

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