Niger’s coup leader, General Abdourahmane Tchiani, has suggested a three-year transition period following discussions with West African leaders, cautioning that any assault on Niger would face fierce resistance.
General Tchiani refrained from detailing his proposal but highlighted an upcoming 30-day dialogue organized by the military council that would finalize transition principles. “Neither the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland nor the people of Niger want war, and remain open to dialogue,” Tchiani said on national television.
His comments come in the wake of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) imposing sanctions on Niger and deploying a “standby force” to restore constitutional order. Notably, ECOWAS has signaled potential military intervention.
Tensions are beginning to increase as Nigeriens rally in support of the military, with thousands registering as fighters against potential ECOWAS intervention. In addition, Burkina Faso and Mali have sent troops to Niger in an effort to bolster the countries defenses.
Burkina Faso and Mali have sent troops to Niger in readiness for a potential ECOWAS French attacks.— African Revolt (@Africarevolt) August 19, 2023
I confirm: The French soldiers must clear. The CFA franc must disappear. French as an official language should be deleted. Official development assistance must be prohibited. The… pic.twitter.com/7wJq2dnbDJ
Despite this public support, concerns about the military’s control over the nation are growing. Bisa Williams, former US ambassador to Niger, remarked, “There’s disorientation, there’s confusion, and… a lot of discord in the ranks.”
Amidst the political turmoil, extremist groups gained ground, leveraging the distracted military presence. Recent attacks on Niger’s army and civilians have intensified concerns, prompting calls for a swift and inclusive transition to restore peace and security.