The military junta in Niger has informed the West African regional bloc ECOWAS that it cannot accommodate a delegation from the bloc due to security reasons. The junta cited widespread anger among the Nigerien population following sanctions imposed by ECOWAS as the primary reason for their decision. In a letter addressed to ECOWAS’ representative in Niamey, Niger’s foreign affairs ministry stated that the current context of anger and revolt makes it impossible to welcome the delegation in a serene and secure manner.
Despite mounting international pressure for the ruling junta to step down, the decision to name a new prime minister indicates that the military intends to maintain its hold on power in Niger. The announcement of a new prime minister is seen as a move to solidify the military’s grip on leadership in the country.
In related news, France has suspended development aid and budgetary assistance to Burkina Faso. This decision comes after Burkina Faso and Mali declared that any military intervention against the new military rulers in Niger would be considered a “declaration of war”. The suspension of aid from France underscores the increasing tension in the region.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has expressed his preference for diplomacy to resolve the crisis in Niger. He emphasized the need for dialogue and peaceful negotiations as coup leaders engage in talks with a US envoy.
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