Monday, November 6, 2023

Algeria-Niger Diplomatic Talks Following Coup


Algeria Sends High-Ranking Official to Niger Amidst Political Crisis

Algeria has dispatched a high-ranking official to Niger as part of its diplomatic efforts following a military coup in the neighboring country. The Algerian Foreign Ministry’s secretary-general, Lounes Magramane, is set to visit Niger in an attempt to find a peaceful solution to the crisis. This move comes after Algerian Foreign Minister Ahmed Attaf began a tour of West African countries to address the situation in Niger.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has threatened to use force to reinstate Niger’s elected president, Mohammed Bazoum, who was detained by the armed forces on July 26. However, Algeria opposes any military intervention and has cautioned against a military solution, considering it a direct threat to its own security. Algeria shares a 1,000-km southern land border with Niger and is deeply concerned about the potential risks and consequences of a military intervention.

Algeria’s continuous efforts aim to contribute to a peaceful resolution of the crisis in Niger, not only for the sake of the neighboring country but also for the stability of the entire region. Magramane’s visit will involve meetings with key figures and high-ranking officials in Niger to discuss possible solutions and strategies.

As Africa’s largest country, Algeria shares borders with Libya and Mali, both of which have been embroiled in long-standing conflicts. The region has already witnessed several coups in recent years, with Burkina Faso, Guinea, and Mali experiencing political upheavals. The juntas in Burkina Faso and Mali have warned that any military intervention in Niger would be considered a declaration of war against their countries.

ECOWAS has rejected the proposal put forth by Niger’s mutinous soldiers for a three-year transition to democratic rule. The bloc views this timeline as a provocation and believes that swift action is necessary to prevent further instability in the region. While the door for diplomacy with Niger’s junta remains open, ECOWAS is not willing to engage in prolonged negotiations that yield no results. The bloc is determined to put an end to the cycle of coups in the region.

Abdel-Fatau Musah, the ECOWAS commissioner for peace and security, emphasized the urgency of the situation. He stated that allowing the coup in Niger to succeed would set a dangerous precedent and potentially lead to a domino effect in the region. ECOWAS is committed to stopping this trend and ensuring stability.

While direct talks and backchannel negotiations are currently underway, the window for diplomacy is not open indefinitely. ECOWAS is unwilling to engage in lengthy discussions with military officers, as previous attempts in Mali and Burkina Faso have proven fruitless. The bloc believes that decisive action is necessary to resolve the crisis and restore democratic governance in Niger.

In recent days, an ECOWAS delegation met with Gen. Abdourahmane Tchiani, the head of Niger’s military regime. Following the meeting, Musah stated that the ball is now in the junta’s court, indicating that the next steps will depend on their response.

The situation in Niger remains tense, with regional powers like Algeria and ECOWAS working tirelessly to find a peaceful resolution. The outcome of these diplomatic efforts will have significant implications not only for Niger but also for the stability of West Africa as a whole. The international community will closely monitor developments in the coming days as Algeria’s high-ranking official engages in crucial discussions with key stakeholders in Niger.

Latest stories