The military junta in Niger has taken a bold step by cutting off all connections, including military agreements, with France, its former colonial ruler, as international pressure mounts for the restoration of democratic order in the country. In a national television announcement, the junta also recalled its ambassadors and issued a caution to citizens about potential foreign military and espionage threats.
High-level talks between a delegation representing Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu and coup leader Gen Abdourahmane Tchiani took place on Thursday. President Tinubu, in his role as Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, had previously sent a delegation led by former military Head of State Gen Abdulsalam Abubakar to Niger in an effort to address the crisis.
Surprisingly, the junta also declared the termination of ties with both the United States and Nigeria, coinciding with the approaching deadline set by ECOWAS. The regional bloc has been closely monitoring the situation, urging the Tchiani-led military to release and reinstate the ousted President Mohamed Bazoum.
In a plea published in The Washington Post, Bazoum expressed his thoughts while emphasizing his vulnerable position as a hostage, calling on the U.S. and its partners for assistance.
“I write this as a hostage and urged the U.S. and partners to help”, he said.
Adding to the complexity of the situation, mutinous soldiers in Niger recently announced the termination of all military agreements and protocols with France. They also ceased the functions of Niger’s ambassadors to France, the United States, Togo, and Nigeria, with the latter being a leading player in ECOWAS dialogue efforts, as reported by RFI.
The coup has garnered support from Mali, Burkina Faso, and Guinea, causing concern among European countries who have initiated the evacuation of their nationals from Niger. The situation remains highly tense as Niger seeks stability and a path back to democratic governance.
Furthermore, Col. Maj. Amadou Abdramane, the spokesman for the coup leaders, warned that any aggression or attempted aggression against Niger would be met with an immediate and unwavering response.
“All aggression or attempt at aggression against the state of Niger will see an immediate response and without warning,” he said.