Pope Francis on Sunday urged a diplomatic solution to a political crisis in Niger, sparked by a coup that threatens stability in the region.
“I am following with concern what is happening in Niger, and join the bishops’ call in favour of peace in the country and stability in the Sahel,” said Pope Francis, addressing the faithful in St Peter’s Square after his Angelus prayer.
“I join with prayer the efforts of the international community to find a peaceful solution as soon as possible for the good of everyone,” said the 86-year-old.
Army officers ousted President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26, making Niger the fourth West African nation to suffer a coup since 2020.
Daily Trust reports that following the military takeover in Niger Republic, ECOWAS issued a seven-day ultimatum to the junta to reinstate the ousted President Bazoum.
Despite pressures from the organisation and other countries, the military leaders in the country have refused to reinstate Bazoum.
ECOWAS force is ready to intervene in Niger ‘anytime the order is given’, after a two-day meeting of the regional bloc’s military chiefs in Accra, the capital city of Ghana.
General Abdourahamane Tchiani, leader of the Niger junta, has said the army will hand over power to the civilian government within the next three years.
He stated this in a televised broadcast on Saturday night.