Niger: ECOWAS rejects Niger junta’s three-year transition plan, wants shortest possible time

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has rejected the Niger junta’s three-year power transition plan.

ECOWAS said is not accepting any prolonged transition again in the region but the shortest possible time for the Junta to handover.

It would be recalled that the head of the military junta in the Niger Republic, General Abdourahamane Tiani, on Saturday, said he would relinquish power within three years, warning that any intervention by foreign forces would not be “a walk in the park.”

Reacting in an interview with newsmen on Sunday, August 20, 2023, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Abdel-Fatau Musah, described Tchiani’s proposal as a smokescreen for dialogue and diplomacy.

Musah said: “ECOWAS is not accepting any prolonged transition again in the region. They just have to get ready to hand over in the shortest possible time.

“Military aspect is very much on. The earlier they give power back to civilians and concentrate on their primary responsibility which is defending the territorial integrity of Niger, the better for them.”

Meanwhile, pro-junta protesters on Sunday took to the streets of Niamey to restate their support for the military takeover of power in the Niger Republic.

The demonstrators chanted slogans hostile to former colonial power France and the West African regional bloc, ECOWAS, which is considering a potential military operation to reinstate elected president Mohamed Bazoum if ongoing negotiations with coup leaders fail.

Although the Sahel state’s new military leaders have officially banned protests, in practice, those in support of the coup are allowed to go ahead.

According to AFP, the demonstrators waved placards saying “Stop the military intervention” and “No to sanctions”, in reference to the financial and trade restrictions imposed by ECOWAS four days after the coup on July 26.