We won’t release Bazoum, rejoin ECOWAS – Niger coup leader
The leader of the military junta in Niger Republic, General Abdourahamane Tchiani, has pledged that none of the three Sahel countries will seek readmission to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
He also affirmed that the junta ‘will never’ release the deposed president, Mohammed Bazoum, who was taken hostage following the July 26, 2023, coup in the country.
On January 27, 2024, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger announced their plans to withdraw from membership in the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas), despite repeated efforts at reconciliation.
Following their withdrawal, the foreign ministers of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger recommended the creation of a confederation as part of the long-term goal of uniting the West African neighbours within a federation.
Gen. Tchiani reiterated his commitment to this stance during an interview he gave to the RTN news channel in the capital city of Niamey on Monday.
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His words: “Just because we are members of the bloc, food and medicine supplies were cut off. Power was also cut off, and our funds have been frozen. So, we consulted our friends in the Sahel on exiting the bloc to better the lives of our citizens.
“That we should withdraw from the bloc that is answerable to the foreign countries. So, we have withdrawn our membership from the bloc and would never return to the union.”
Speaking further, he stated that the country is not worried about the consequences that may arise in terms of security, trade, and socio-economic activities following their withdrawal from ECOWAS.
“Now that the world is a global village, is the world within ECOWAS? So, God will feed every human He created.
“We would never release Bazoum. Setting Bazoum free is akin to stabbing ourselves in the stomach which would do harm to Nigeriens,” he added.