ECOWAS gives Niger’s coup leaders 1 week to reinstate elected president

ECOWAS gives Niger’s coup leaders 1 week to reinstate elected president

'I want us to be strong, forceful and resolute about the survival of (President) Bazoum,' says Nigerian president

By James Tasamba

KIGALI, Rwanda (AA) – Leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) bloc ordered Niger’s military coup leaders on Sunday to reinstate deposed President Mohamed Bazoum within one week.

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 Bazoum.

Meeting at an emergency summit in the Nigerian capital Abuja, ECOWAS leaders warned that they would “take all measures” including the “use of force” to restore constitutional order in Niger, according to a statement.

They also imposed financial sanctions on the coup leaders, freezing commercial and financial transactions between the bloc states and Niger, and imposed travel bans on the military officers involved in the coup.

“Whether we call it constructive dialogue or otherwise, whatever you and I resolve will make or mar our democratic credentials. I want us to be strong, forceful and resolute about the survival of Bazoum as well as the freedom and restoration of the constitutionally elected body in Niger Republic,” Nigeria’s President and the bloc’s Chairman Bola Ahmed Tinubu said earlier while opening the meeting.

The meeting was attended by Presidents Macky Sall of Senegal, Umaro Sissoco of Guinea-Bissau, Togo’s Faure Gnassingbe and Alassane Ouattara of Ivory Coast.

Other heads of state attending included Patrice Talon of Benin, Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana and Adama Barrow of Gambia and the transitional President of Chad, Mahamat Deby.

The meeting was convened a day after the African Union told the military coup leaders that they had 15 days to return to their barracks and restore constitutional authority. The emergency summit also convened a day after the coup leaders warned against military intervention.

Coup supporters shouting anti-French slogans attacked the French embassy in Niger’s capital Niamey on Sunday, setting fire to a door.

The French president’s office warned that “anyone who attacks French nationals, the military, diplomats or French interests will see France respond in an immediate and intractable manner."

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