West African delegation ECOWAS arrives in Niger: Airport source

AFP , Thursday 3 Aug 2023

A delegation from the West African bloc ECOWAS arrived in Niger on Thursday for talks in a bid to resolve a crisis following last week's military coup, an airport source told AFP.

Niger airport source
The airport source told AFP the ECOWAS delegation on Thursday landed in the capital Niamey at 6:11 pm (1711 GMT). AFP


The source said the delegation landed in the capital Niamey at 6:11 pm (1711 GMT). ECOWAS on Sunday had given the junta a week to reinstate elected leader Mohamed Bazoum or risk a possible military intervention.

Nigerian President Bola Tinubu urged the representatives to do "whatever it takes to ensure a conclusive and amicable resolution of the situation in Niger", his office said in a statement.

The delegation headed by former Nigerian leader Abdulsalami Abubakar is due to "meet the coup leaders in Niger to present the demands of the ECOWAS leadership", Tinubu's office added.

Tinubu also sent another delegation led by Nigerian ambassador Babagana Kingibe "to engage with the leaders of Libya and Algeria" on the crisis.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has already imposed trade and financial sanctions on Niger, with Nigeria cutting its electricity supply.

West African military chiefs are meeting in Nigeria's capital Abuja to discuss the possibility of military intervention if diplomacy fails, but ECOWAS has said the use of force would be "the last resort".

Junta-ruled Mali and Burkina Faso have warned any military intervention in their neighbour would be tantamount to a "declaration of war" against them.

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