JUST IN: Tinubu sends another negotiation team to Niger for fresh dialogue

President Bola Tinubu has approved the return of a delegation of Islamic leaders (Ulama) to the Niger Republic for another round of dialogue with the coup leaders.

Tinubu made the decision on Thursday after a meeting with the top clerics led by Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi, who were recently in Niamey, the Niger Republic capital, two weeks ago for dialogue with the junta led by General Abdourahamane Tiani.

Tinubu made the decision as the Chairperson of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Since the junta seized power from President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26, 2023, ECOWAS has imposed sanctions on Niger in response to the coup and has not ruled out using force against the army officers.

The West African bloc has approved the deployment of a “standby force to restore constitutional order” in Niger as soon as possible. Still, it remains committed to finding a diplomatic solution to the crisis.

The African Union had suspended the Niger Republic over the ongoing situation.

Niger is the fourth nation in West Africa since 2020 to suffer a coup, following Burkina Faso, Guinea and Mali.

The juntas in Burkina Faso and Mali have said that any military intervention in their neighbour would be considered a “declaration of war” against their countries.

The coup is the fifth in Niger’s history since the impoverished, landlocked state gained independence from France in 1960.

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