By John Ikani
“Niger’s military leaders have crafted a proposal to reinstate democratic governance, a plan that will be submitted to the regional bloc ECOWAS for consideration,” revealed Togo’s foreign minister, Robert Dussey.
Assigned by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Dussey engaged in negotiations with the junta in Niger, emphasizing ECOWAS’ push for a swift return to constitutional order following the coup staged by military officers in July.
“We had a productive session with the prime minister and the foreign affairs minister of Niger. We reached an understanding regarding the content and timeline of the transition,” Dussey disclosed during an appearance on Niger state television on Thursday evening.
The plan is set to be presented to the heads of states, who are acting as mediators, and the ECOWAS Commission. Dussey expressed hope that by January, the anticipated timeline outlined by ECOWAS would be clarified.
However, he refrained from delving into specific details regarding the agreed-upon points during the negotiations.
During a summit in Nigeria on Sunday, ECOWAS, the primary economic and political bloc in West Africa, resolved to establish a committee comprising leaders from Togo, Sierra Leone, and Benin. Their mission is to engage with the Niger junta to formulate “a concise transition roadmap.”
Sanctions on Niger, enforced by ECOWAS, will be gradually lifted based on the outcomes of these talks.
In a noteworthy development, a senior U.S. diplomat declared this week that the United States was ready to reinitiate security and development cooperation with Niger, contingent upon the junta taking concrete steps towards reinstating democracy.
General Abdourahamane Tiani, leading Niger’s ruling military council, orchestrated the ousting of President Mohamed Bazoum, marking the eighth such takeover in West and Central Africa since 2020.