Niger coup leader commits to direct talks with ECOWAS: confirms Nigerian scholar

Nigerian Islamic scholars who engaged with Niger’s coup leader have reported that the general has committed to direct negotiations aimed at resolving the impasse with West African leaders. Sheikh Abdullahi Bala Lau, the leader of the Nigerian delegation, disclosed this news on August 14, 2023 following discussions with General Abdourahamane Tchiani in Niamey, Niger’s capital.

Amid the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) exploring various avenues to reinstate civilian governance in Niger after President Mohamed Bazoum’s removal in July 2023– marking the seventh coup in West and Central Africa within three years – a meeting occurred. Nigerian Islamic scholars engaged in discussions with General Abdourahamane Tchiani, considering options for resolving the situation, including potential military intervention.

According to Sheikh Abdullahi Bala Lau, who led the Nigerian delegation, General Tchiani has agreed to engage in direct talks with ECOWAS leaders. The next step involves selecting a suitable location for the talks – whether in Niger, Nigeria, or another preferred venue. A specific timeframe for the meeting is expected to be established within the upcoming days.