Niger's Junta Leader Signals Possible Transition After Meeting with ECOWAS Delegation

Mohammed Bello Doka, Abuja Network News

In a televised broadcast on Saturday, General Abdourahamane Tchiani, leader of Niger's junta, suggested the possibility of a transition period after a meeting with an ECOWAS delegation. General Tchiani clarified that the junta had no intentions of holding onto power and assured the public that the transition would not exceed three years.

Despite not providing further details on the potential transition, Aljazeera reports that General Tchiani announced that the principles guiding this process would be determined within 30 days during a dialogue hosted by the ruling military council.

Moreover, General Tchiani accused ECOWAS of preparing to invade Niger by establishing an occupying army in collaboration with a foreign force. He condemned the "illegal" and "inhuman" sanctions imposed by the regional bloc. Emphasizing the junta's eagerness for dialogue, he stated that neither the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland nor the people of Niger desired war.

Earlier, ECOWAS defense chiefs had revealed their finalized plans for intervention in Niger if diplomatic efforts proved ineffective. During a two-day meeting, they discussed the deployment of a standby force, as directed by the heads of state.

Nevertheless, General Tchiani cautioned, "But let us be clear: If an attack were to be undertaken against us, it will not be the walk in the park some people seem to think."

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