June 13, 2024

The three-year power transition plan put forth by the junta in Niger has been rejected by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). According to ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Abdel-Fatau Musah, who spoke in an interview with the BBC on Sunday, the proposal by Gen. Abdourahamane Tiani, the leader of the military junta in Niger Republic, is merely a façade for dialogue and diplomacy.

Gen. Tiani had announced his intention to relinquish power within a three-year period, cautioning against foreign intervention, and urging political parties to present their transition plans within a month. He emphasized that the aim was not to hold onto power indefinitely but to facilitate a transition period lasting no longer than three years.

The warning came after an ECOWAS delegation arrived in Niger for diplomatic discussions ahead of a potential military intervention against the junta. However, Musah stated that ECOWAS was not inclined to support an extended transition in the region, and emphasized the need for a swift handover of power to civilian authorities.

Simultaneously, pro-junta demonstrators took to the streets in Niamey, expressing their support for the military takeover and criticizing former colonial power France as well as the West African regional bloc, ECOWAS. These supporters of the coup rallied against potential military action and sanctions proposed by ECOWAS following the coup. Despite an official ban on protests imposed by the new military leaders, those favoring the coup were allowed to demonstrate openly.

During the pro-coup rally on Sunday, musicians lauded the new military regime, signaling the sentiments of those backing the junta’s takeover.

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