Niger’s new military ruler has said a transition of power will not go beyond three years, and warned that any attack on the country “will not be the walk in the park” for those involved.
“Our ambition is not to confiscate power,” General Abdourahamane Tiani said in a televised address. Any transition of power “will not go beyond three years”, he said before warning that if an attack were to be undertaken, “it will not be the walk in the park some people seem to think”.
The warning came after a delegation from Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), led by former Nigerian leader Abdulsalami Abubakar, met ousted president Mohamed Bazoum in a bid to make a final diplomatic push before deciding whether to take military action against the Niger’s new military rulers.
Last week, ECOWAS defence chiefs had met to fine-tune details of a potential military operation if negotiations with Niger’s military rulers fail.
However, thousands of people demonstrated in Niamey on Sunday in support of the military coup. They chanted slogans against ECOWAS and France, former colonial power.
The Sahel state’s new military leaders have officially banned demonstrations but in practice, those in support of the coup are allowed to go ahead.
The demonstrators waved placards saying “Stop the military intervention” and “No to sanctions”, in reference to the financial and trade restrictions imposed by ECOWAS four days after the coup on July 26.