An Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) delegation led by Abdulsalami Abubakar, former military head of state, arrived in Niamey, Niger’s capital on Wednesday, to negotiate with the country’s military junta.
Abdulsalami is reportedly accompanied by Muhammadu Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto, and Alieu Touray, president of the ECOWAS commission.
The new military government in Niger is led by Abdourahmane Tiani, former head of ousted President Mohamed Bazoum’s presidential guard.
Tiani had detained Bazoum in his palace on account of bad governance and later declared himself head of state.
As part of efforts to remedy the situation, ECOWAS sent President Patrice Talon of Benin and the Chadian Leader Mahamat Déby, to Niger to speak with the coup plotters — but the actions did not yield any success.
Following a meeting on Sunday, ECOWAS announced a number of sanctions, including freezing “all commercial and financial transactions” between member states and Niger.
The organisation also threatened to resort to the use of force if Bazoum is not reinstated within a week from the bloc’s last meeting.
Earlier, Nigelec, Niger’s electricity company, said power shortages had hit the warring country after Nigeria’s government cut its supply.
The sanctions have prompted Mali and Burkina Faso, both still ruled by the military, to threaten that any further interventions in Niger would be considered a declaration of war against them, too.