Gen. Abdourahamane Tchiani, the leader of the coup who took control of Niger, has declared that his nation does not desire war but is prepared to defend itself if necessary.
The Al Jazeera network paraphrased Tchiani as saying, “Neither the army nor the people of Niger want war, but we will resist any manifestation of it.”
He stated that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) member nations are unaware that the Niger is now essential to preventing regional instability in the face of an uptick in terrorist activity.
According to NAN, Tchiani also said that the sanctions imposed on his nation were intended to put pressure on the rebels rather than to resolve the current crisis.
Tchiani added that rebels prefer to find a solution that serves the needs of the populace rather than assuming control of the nation.
The deposed president Mohamed Bazoum was met by an ECOWAS delegation on Saturday to discuss the conditions of his confinement, according to reports in the media.
There were rumours that the delegation spoke with Tchiani as well later in the day.
On July 26, Niger saw a coup, and Bazoum was overthrown and imprisoned by his own guard, which was headed by Tchiani.
Following the takeover, ECOWAS cut off all financial help to Niger, froze the assets of the rebels, and prohibited commercial flights into and out of the nation.
Early in August, ECOWAS officials decided to create a standby force to perhaps persuade the Nigerien military to restore Bazoum during a summit in the Nigerian capital Abuja.
The chiefs of the ECOWAS general staff decided on a start date for the military intervention on Friday, but they would not make it public, according to ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs Abdel-Fatau Musah.
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