Coup in Niger, more rebel troops in Niamey: Ecowas seeks diplomatic solution

The coup plotters in Niger continue to challenge the bloc of West African countries, closing the doors to an Ecowas delegation headed to Niamey to attempt a negotiation in which spaces appear increasingly narrow. The military junta of Niger has, in fact, rejected the latest diplomatic attempt to free and reinstate the ousted president, Mohamed Bazoum. The military now in power refused the visit proposed yesterday by representatives of the West African regional bloc, the African Union and the United Nations, motivating the refusal with “obvious security reasons in this climate of threat” against Niger.

Appointed a civilian as prime minister

Two weeks ago, mutinous soldiers overthrew the country’s democratically elected president. The regional bloc, ECOWAS had threatened to use force if the junta did not reinstate Mohamed Bazoum by Sunday, a deadline that was ignored. In the meantime, the coup plotters have nominated a civilian as prime minister, announcing it on TV Wednesday evening: it is Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine, described as a “technocrat” by the Nigerien site Tamtan Info on the basis of a curriculum that saw him as head of the cabinet in 2001 under then President Mamadou Tandja and then Minister of Finance in 2002 until the putsch of 2010. And with him they renewed the leadership of the Presidential Guard, calling Lieutenant Colonel Habibou Assoumane to lead.