Nigeriens in Ghana protest military takeover in Niger

Nigeriens in Ghana protest military takeover in Niger

Demonstrators want reinstatement of ousted President Mohamed Bazoum

By Enoch Fiifi Forson and Hassan Isilow

ACCRA, Ghana (AA) — Scores of Nigerien nationals residing in Ghana staged a protest on Friday at the embassy of their country, currently ruled by a military administration.

Demonstrators in the Ghanaian capital Accra carried banners bearing slogans supporting Niger's ousted President Mohamed Bazoum and calling Gen. Abdourahamane Tchiani, who led the July 26 coup, a "criminal."

Accusing those behind the coup of adding to the problems already faced by Nigeriens, the protesters voiced concern over the closure of the country's borders and airports, which have hindered movement and led to soaring food prices.

"We need democracy. As Nigeriens, we voted for our president and he should remain. After five years, an election will decide the country's leadership. The president should be allowed to carry out his work without any issues," said one demonstrator, Alhaji Sulley, in an interview with local media.

- Protests in Nigeria

Protests have also been held elsewhere on the continent to condemn the putsch in Niamey.

Last Sunday, pro-democracy activists in Nigeria staged a protest calling for Bazoum's unconditional release.

The Coalition of Pro-democracy Activists marched through the streets of the northwestern city of Katsina, condemning the coup and calling for the reinstatement of the ousted president.

The protest came a day after hundreds of Nigerians took to the streets of Kano, another city in the country's north, to demonstrate against a possible military intervention in neighboring Niger by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), of which Nigeria is a member.

The demonstrators said they were against Nigeria's planned contribution of troops to the ECOWAS regional force that might intervene into Niger.

At a meeting last week in the Nigerian capital Abuja, ECOWAS ordered the activation of a standby force to intervene in Niger to reinstate Bazoum.

ECOWAS had previously issued an ultimatum to the military administration in Niger to unconditionally release and reinstate Bazoum or it would intervene by force.

On Thursday, ECOWAS said it was ready to intervene militarily in Niger if diplomatic means to restore the constitutional order fail.

"Let no one be in doubt that if everything else fails, the various forces of West Africa – both the military and civilian component – are ready to answer to the call of duty," ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security Abdel-Fatau Musah told a meeting of regional military chiefs in Accra, Ghana.

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