Niger Republic cuts off ties with Nigeria as peace talk fails

The Niger Republic’s military junta has taken the decision to sever ties with Nigeria following the failure of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to resolve the ongoing deadlock.

ECOWAS had set a seven-day ultimatum for the reinstatement of President Mohamed Bazoum in an effort to avoid potential clashes with the junta. However, President Bola Tinubu sent a high-level delegation led by General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd) to meet with the coup leaders on Thursday, but the meeting only involved representatives of the junta.

As a result, Niger has cut off ties not only with Nigeria but also with Togo, France (its former colonizer), and the United States.

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“The functions of the extraordinary and plenipotentiary ambassadors of the Republic of Niger” to France, Nigeria, Togo and the United States are terminated,” Radio France International quoted one of the putschists to have said on national television

The tensions escalated after President Bazoum was detained by members of the Presidential Guard on July 26, and the military subsequently announced its takeover.

In response to the situation, the US has expressed support for ECOWAS, led by Nigerian President Bola Tinubu, in efforts to reinstate President Bazoum.

US President Joe Biden issued a statement on Thursday, calling for the immediate release of Bazoum, citing the need to defend democratic values, uphold constitutional order, promote justice, and protect the right to peaceful assembly – all of which are fundamental to the partnership between Niger and the US.

“I call for President Bazoum and his family to be immediately released, and for the preservation of Niger’s hard-earned democracy.

“The United States stands with the people of Niger to honor our decades-long partnership rooted in shared democratic values and support for civilian-led governance,” he said in the statement.

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