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Poland supports Ecowas and African Union peace efforts in Niger, MFA says

Poland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has declared it backs efforts of the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) and the African Union aimed at finding peaceful resolution to the crisis in Niger following the coup that deposed the president last week.

On July 26, a military junta overthrew the incumbent president of Niger, Mohamed Bazoum. General Abdourahamane Tchiani, head of the Presidential Guard since 2011, declared himself the country’s new leader two days later. The Army is holding Bazoum at his official residence in the capital city of Niamey.

On Saturday, the Polish MFA published a statement on its website on the situation in Niger.

“In connection with the attempt to remove the democratically elected president Mohamed Bazoum from power in Niger, we support the activities of Ecowas and the African Union to develop a political solution that guarantees stability, peace and respect for democracy in Niger,” the ministry said.

On Friday, Abdel-Fatau Musah, Ecowas commissioner for political affairs, peace and security, said that West African defence chiefs had developed a plan for a possible military intervention in Niger unless the junta reinstates the nation’s democratically elected president.

Earlier, at an emergency summit in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, on July 30, Ecowas warned that if the junta did not relinquish power, the bloc would take ‘all measures’ to restore constitutional order including “the use of force.” The same summit introduced a series of economic sanctions against Niamey, including the closure of land and air links with Niger and the suspension of financial transactions between Ecowas members and Niger.

On Friday, an Ecowas delegation left Niamey after being prevented from meeting the junta leadership. They were also denied access to Bazoum who is being held inside the Presidential Palace. The delegation had hoped for talks that would lead to a peaceful resolution of the crisis and return Bazoum to power.

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