- Former Nigerian military Head of State, Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd), led an ECOWAS delegation to Niger for a diplomatic effort to resolve tensions with the junta
- However, the delegation did not meet the Niger Republic Coup Leader as planned, instead meeting Prime Minister Ali Lamine Zeine
- Uncertainty surrounds the reason for the missed meeting, with reports suggesting possible mutiny within the presidential guard of the Niger Republic
Niamey, Niger Republic – Nigeria’s former military Head of State, Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd), has led a delegation of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to the Niger Republic.
Legit.ng learns that the move aligned with a last-ditch diplomatic effort to reach a peaceful solution with Niger Junta.
Niger’s governing military council confirmed the arrival of the ECOWAS representatives, Al Jazeera reported.
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Niger coup: Abdulsalami delegation meets PM
It was gathered that Prime Minister Ali Lamine Zeine received the delegation. The meeting with Zeine reportedly lasted about 90 minutes.
It is unclear why Abdulsalami’s delegation could not meet with the junta. However, there are unconfirmed reports of mutiny by the presidential guard of the Niger Republic.
A previous effort by the ECOWAS delegation, also led by Abubakar, failed to meet Bazoum and the coup leader, General Abdourahamane Tchiani.
Tichiani later apologised when some Nigerian clerics met with him last weekend, saying they did not meet the delegation out of anger.
Mali, Burkina Faso deploy Warplanes in Niger
Meanwhile, Burkina Faso and Mali have reportedly deployed warplanes in the Niger Republic in readiness to defend the junta against the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) troops waiting for the order to strike.
“Niger can thwart ECOWAS sanctions”: Military-appointed PM sends strong words to West African leaders
Niger’s national television disclosed the move of Mali and Burkina Faso. The television station said the Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger military leaders convened Friday, August 18, in the Nigerien capital Niamey.
“Mali and Burkina Faso turned their commitments into concrete action by deploying warplanes to respond to any attack on Niger,” the report said, noting the planes were Super Tucano fighter jets.