‘We don’t want war but we will defend ourselves if need be’, Niger junta tells ECOWAS leaders


Gen. Abdourahamane Tchiani, the leader of the Niger Republic military junta that deposed President Mohamed Bazoum in a coup on July 26, has said that the country does not want war but will be ready to defend itself if necessary.

Tchiani who made the position of the coup leaders known on Saturday when an Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) delegation met with him in a last ditch effort to resolve the crisis in the country, was quoted as saying “neither the army nor the people of Niger want war, but we will resist any manifestation of it.”

READ ALSO:What Niger ousted president told ECOWAS delegation – Abdulsalami

As reported by Al Jazeera, Tchiani noted that member countries of the ECOWAS do not realise that Niger has become the key to containing the region from destabilisation against the backdrop of increased terrorist activity, adding that sanctions imposed against his country were aimed at putting pressure on the rebels, and not at finding a solution to the current situation.

Tchiani also said rebels do not seek to seize power in the country but rather seek to come to a solution that would meet the interests of the people.

The ECOWAS delegation had arrived Niamey, the Nigerien capital earlier on Saturday where they finally met with disposed President Bazoum to assess conditions of his detention amid report that his health had deteriorated, before meeting and holding talks with Tchiani.

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