Tinubu Has Not Ruled Out Use Of Force In Niger, Says Presidency

According to the spokesman for Tinubu, who also chairs the organization ECOWAS, Tinubu continues to hold the belief that diplomacy is the "best way forward" to settle the problem.

The new rulers of Niger have not yet yielded power to the democratically elected leader, despite the best efforts of ECOWAS and the United States. These efforts have not been very successful so far.

The troops who took control of the country rejected a deadline given on Sunday to reinstate President Mohamed Bazoum or face the possibility of using force. They have remained unmoved by dialogue and instead staged a demonstration at a stadium in Niamey, the capital city.On Tuesday, the spokesperson for Tinubu's campaign, Ajuri Ngelale, stated that "no options have been taken off the table."

A day after a top US envoy appeared to make no headway in an unannounced visit, the United States stated that it still hopes the coup might be undone, but that it is "realistic" about the possibility.

"At the same time, we are making clear, including in direct conversations with junta leaders themselves, what the consequences are for failing to return to constitutional order," State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters on Tuesday. "We are making clear what the consequences are for failing to return to constitutional order."

On Wednesday, United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on social media that he had spoken to Bazoum "to express our continued efforts to find a peaceful resolution to the current constitutional crisis." Blinken's comments came after Blinken stated he had spoken to Bazoum.After the overthrow of Bazoum by the rebel soldiers, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) slapped economic and financial sanctions on the country of Niger.
The soldiers who took power in Niger decided not to comply with the bloc's seven-day ultimatum to return Bazoum or face the possibility of a military intervention. Instead, they shut down Niger's airspace.

Additionally, the bloc attempted to send a delegation to Niamey on Tuesday in advance of the crisis summit that will take place on Thursday.

However, the military that rules the country put a stop to the expedition, claiming that the "anger" caused by the sanctions imposed by the bloc posed a threat to the safety of the group.ECOWAS issued a statement in which it acknowledged that the request for a visit by a joint delegation consisting of officials from the United Nations and the African Union had been declined.

The selection of Ali Mahama Lamine Zeine as the new prime minister was announced by the military authorities on Monday. This was a another demonstration of defiance on the part of the military leaders, who may be intending to maintain their hold on power.

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Since the year 2020, ECOWAS has been confronted with a wave of military takeovers that have now affected four of its 15 members.
In Mali, Burkina Faso, and now Niger, all of the takeovers have been fueled by Islamist insurgencies that have claimed the lives of many thousands of people, caused at least two million people to be displaced from their homes, and dealt severe blows to some of the world's weakest economies.

Victoria Nuland, a senior US diplomat, met with the military rulers of Niger for over two hours on Monday, but she left the meeting with nothing tangible to show for it. She explained that her conversations were "extremely frank" and "at times quite difficult."

She stated that she presented "a number of options" to the leaders of the coup in an effort to bring an end to the crisis and reestablish relations with the United States, which, along with other Western governments, had withheld aid.

She told reporters before she left, "I would not say that we were taken up on that offer in any way," in reference to the offer that had been made.

Nuland was unable to meet with Bazoum since he has been held in custody since July 26, and the new leader of Niger, General Abdourahamane Tiani, was not present for the meeting.

The heads of the armed forces in Mali and Burkina Faso have issued statements expressing their support for Niger and stating that any military action would be interpreted as a "declaration of war" against their countries.
The two nations' letters, which were sent on Tuesday, were addressed to the United Nations and the African Union. In them, they urged the two organizations to resist "military intervention against Niger," arguing that such a step "would have unpredictable consequences for security and humanitarian affairs."

Algeria, which has a long land border with Niger, has also issued a warning against a military incursion, which the president of Algeria, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, has called "a direct threat" to his nation. Algeria and Niger share a land border.

After winning elections in 2021 that led to Niger's very first peaceful turnover of power, Bazoum, who was 63 at the time, was showered with praise.

He assumed control of a nation that had been through a total of four prior coups since it gained its independence, and he survived two separate attempts on his life before ultimately being removed from power.

France's decision to refocus its Sahel anti-jihadist campaign on Niger after retreating from Mali and Burkina Faso last year was largely influenced by his support, which was a significant component in the decision.
The United States has 1,000 servicemen stationed in Niger, while France has 1,500 soldiers stationed there. The majority of the French forces are stationed at two main air bases.

 


Jenny Young

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