African Union tells Niger's coup leaders to return to barracks

African Union tells Niger's coup leaders to return to barracks

Group’s Peace and Security Council gives soldiers 15 days to restore constitutional authority

By James Tasamba

KIGALI, Rwanda (AA) - The African Union told military coup leaders in Niger on Saturday they had 15 days to return to their barracks and restore constitutional authority following a coup earlier this week.

The Peace and Security Council of the African Union made the demand in a statement following a meeting Friday on the situation in Niger.

Gen. Abdourahamane Tchiani, the commander of Niger’s presidential guard, declared himself the head of a transitional government on Friday, two days after soldiers deposed President Mohamed Bazoum.

The Peace and Security Council “demands that the military immediately and unconditionally return to their barracks and the restoration of constitutional authority, within a maximum period of fifteen (15) days,” it said in a statement.

It expressed deep concern about the worrying resurgence of military coups it said undermine democracy, peace, security and stability on the continent and reiterated its “zero-tolerance policy towards unconstitutional changes of government,”

Warning of punitive measures, including sanctions against the perpetrators, the statement demanded the immediate and unconditional release of ousted Bazoum and all detainees.

Leaders of the Economic Community of West African States bloc (ECOWAS) are due to meet Sunday in Nigeria to discuss the political situation in Niger.

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