Gen Abdourahamane Tchiani, Niger’s coup leader, has announced his intention to return the country to civilian rule within three years. The announcement came after a meeting with mediators from the West African regional bloc Ecowas, which has threatened military action if talks fail. Gen Tchiani criticized Ecowas for “illegal and inhumane” sanctions, including cutting electricity and blocking imports, while warning against foreign intervention. Ecowas rejected the three-year timeframe, insisting on a quicker transition.
- Transition Plan: Gen Abdourahamane Tchiani has promised to return Niger to civilian rule within three years after the overthrow of President Mohamed Bazoum.
- Ecowas Reactions: Ecowas has threatened military action to reverse the coup and rejected the proposed three-year timeframe for transition, demanding a quicker handover. The regional efforts to reverse the coup have support from the US and France.
- Sanctions and Warnings: The coup leader criticized Ecowas’ sanctions, such as cutting electricity and blocking crucial imports, and warned that Niger would defend itself against any foreign intervention.
- Volunteer Force Registration: Thousands gathered in Niamey to register for a volunteer force in case of invasion, showing public mobilization and readiness.
- Regional Context: The coup in Niger is part of a pattern of similar takeovers in neighboring countries like Burkina Faso and Mali, and it takes place against the backdrop of growing Russian influence in the Sahel region through its mercenary group Wagner.