Guinea-Bissau: ECOWAS future at risk over Niger conflict

President Umaro Sissoco Embalo said the current state of affairs that ECOWAS is facing is deeply concerning as it has been the safest and strongest organization on the entire continent up until now.

Guinea-Bissau’s president has said Niger’s coup presented an existential threat to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), speaking on the eve of a key summit on the latest Sahel crisis.

Addressing reporters before flying to Abuja, Nigeria, for an ECOWAS meeting on Thursday, President Umaro Sissoco Embalo said the deposed Nigerien President Mohamed Bazoum was that country’s only legitimate leader.

“The only president we recognize is Bazoum — he is the one the people have chosen,” Embalo said.

“If you don’t want a government or a president, sanction it through the ballot box … Coups must be banned”.

Embalo said that following putsches in three other ECOWAS member states since 2020, the regional bloc’s future could be in doubt.

“The situation that ECOWAS is going through is really worrying — this organization has so far been the safest, the strongest on the whole continent,” he said.

The deadline has since expired without Bazoum being reinstated.

Nigerian emir stays in Niamey for mediation with coup leaders

Nigeria’s former emir of the northern city of Kano said on Wednesday that he was in Niger’s capital of Niamey to hold mediation talks with military leaders who staged a coup there two weeks ago.

“We have spoken to the head of state”, the new strongman General Abdourahamane Tiani, and will deliver a “message” to Nigeria President Bola Tinubu, said the former emir Sanusi Lamido Sanusi on Nigerian state television, adding he was not an emissary of the government.

Sanusi is known to be a close friend of Tinubu, who is a former governor of his home state of Lagos.

“We came hoping that our arrival will pave the way for real discussions between the leaders of Niger and those of Nigeria,” Sanusi said.

Niger junta: France breached air space

In a statement Wednesday on national television, the junta asserted that a French military aircraft had breached a ban on the country’s air space, adding to their concerns that a larger plot to sow discord within the country was afoot.

Colonel Amadou Abdramane, the junta’s spokesperson, suggested that French forces might have ulterior motives to create an atmosphere of generalised insecurity to “discredit” the caretaker government calling itself the National Council for the Safeguarding of the Country (CNSP).

Abdramane said that France had also freed 16 terrorists who had been incarcerated. The junta said these terrorists planned an attack Wednesday on its National Guard position.

Source: TRTWorld