Niger’s military leaders have warned the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) not to send soldiers to the Republic of Niger.
General Abdourahmane Tchiani, also known as Omar Tchiani, and the chief of Niger’s presidential guard, declared himself leader while the country’s elected president, Mohamed Bazoum, has been held by the military since the coup took place last week.
The military leaders in Niger warned against any military intervention in a statement read on Niger national television.
“The objective of the ECOWAS meeting is to approve a plan of aggression against Niger through an imminent military intervention in Niamey in collaboration with other African countries that are non-members of ECOWAS, and certain Western countries,” Aljazeera quoted the military spokesperson, Colonel Amadou Abdramane, to have said.
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During the meeting, the regional body issued a seven-day ultimatum to the military junta in Niger to reinstate President Bazoum as democratically elected President or face a range of stiff sanctions.
It also tasked all Chiefs of Defense Staff of the member-states to proceed for an emergency meeting to strategize on effective ways to implement a possible military operation to restore constitutional order to office.
ECOWAS, which recognised Bazoum as the legitimate President of the nation, threatened to impose land border closures and no-fly zone conditions on Niger Republic should the military coup masterminds fail to heed its ultimatum.
This was the resolution of the Extraordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the ECOWAS, which held on Sunday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Omar Touray, who read the communiqué, the body “call for the immediate release and reinstatement of President Mohamed Bazoum as President and Head of State of the Republic of Niger and for the full restoration of constitutional order in the Republic of Niger.
“Reject any form of resignation that may purportedly come from His Excellency, President Mohamed Bazoum; considered the illegal detention of President Bazoum as a hostage situation and hold the authors of the attempted coup that are solely and fully responsible for the safety and security of His Excellency President Mohammed Bazoum, as well as members of his family and government.
“In the event the Authority’s demands are not met within one week, take all measures necessary to restore constitutional order in the Republic of Nigeria.
“Suspension of all commercial and financial transactions between ECOWAS Member States and Asia. Freeze all service transactions including energy transactions. Freeze assets of the Republic of Niger in Aqua Central Bank. Freeze of assets of the Niger State and the state enterprises and parastatals in commercial banks.
“Suspension of measure from all financial assistance and transactions with all financial institutions, particularly EBID”, he said.