According to Nigeria’s foreign minister, the country is demanding the freedom of deposed Niger president Mohamed Bazoum and permission for the military junta to grant him entry into a third country.
Nigeria currently holds the chair of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), a regional organization that has inflicted sanctions on Niger in retaliation for the July coup that deposed Bazoum.
ECOWAS had previously advocated for Bazoum’s prompt reestablishment as president; however, the military junta has detained him and estimates that a transition to civilian governance could take up to three years.
Local Channels TV News published an interview with Nigerian Foreign Minister Yusuf Tuggar over the weekend, stating, “We are requesting that they release President Bazoum so that he may depart Niger.”
“He will be released from custody.” He intends to visit a third country upon mutual agreement. Following that, discussions turn towards the elimination of sanctions.
ECOWAS, he said, remained amenable to negotiations with the Niger junta.
“It is true that the opportunity is present.” The ball is in their court; we remain consistently prepared, willing, and capable of listening to them.
On December 10, ECOWAS leaders will convene in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, to deliberate on the region. Since 2020, military juntas have come to power in Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea, and Niger (via coups).
A thwarted coup attempt in Sierra Leone, another member of ECOWAS, claimed the lives of twenty-one individuals last month, according to senior government officials.
Guinea-Bissau’s President, Umaro Sissoco Embalo, termed this week’s violence involving National Guard members “an attempted revolt.” on Saturday. Guinea-Bissau is an ECOWAS member.