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Nigeria Asks Niger Junta To Release Ousted President Mohamed Bazoum

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According to its foreign minister, Nigeria is demanding that the military junta permit former Niger president Mohamed Bazoum to be freed and travel to a third nation.

As the current chair of the Economic Community of West African States, or ECOWAS, Nigeria has placed sanctions on Niger in the wake of the coup that overthrew Bazoum in July.

The military junta has kept Bazoum in detention and has stated that it might take up to three years for civilian rule to return, despite demands from ECOWAS for Bazoum’s immediate return to the presidency.

Nigerian Foreign Minister Yusuf Tuggar said in an interview with local Channels TV news, “We are asking them to release President Bazoum so that he will be allowed to leave Niger.” The interview was published on its website at the weekend.

“He will no longer be in custody. He will go to a third country that is mutually agreed. And then we start talking about the removal of sanctions.”

In his words, negotiations with the junta in Niger were still open for ECOWAS.

On December 10, ECOWAS leaders will gather in the capital city of Abuja, Nigeria, to discuss issues pertaining to the region, where military juntas have taken control of Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea, and Niger after coups since 2020.

According to senior officials in Sierra Leone, another ECOWAS member, a failed coup attempt last month claimed 21 lives. The president of Guinea-Bissau, a member of ECOWAS, Umaro Sissoco Embalo, declared on Saturday that the violence this week involving National Guard members was an “attempted coup”.

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