The new military junta on Tuesday turned down a meeting request by a joint delegation from the United Nations (UN), African Union (AU) and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
According to a memo seen by PREMIUM TIMES and signed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Co-operation of the Republic of Niger, the trio had jointly written to notify Niger authorities of the mission slated for Tuesday.
The Nigerien government said that based on ECOWAS sanction ordering member states to shut their border with Niger, “organisation of such a mission by special flight requires special consideration by the Niger authorities, including a special exemption which is not invoked in this note from the Resident Representation.”
According to the memo, the delegation was meant to arrive in Niamey on 8 August by a special flight chartered by the United Nations.
“While reiterating their readiness to engage in discussions with delegations or emissaries concerning the situation in Niger, as indicated to the mission led by the former President of Nigeria, GI (er) Abdulsalami Abubakar, the current context of anger and revolt of the populations following the sanctions imposed by ECOWAS, does not allow to welcome the said delegation in the required serenity and security,” it said.
As a result of the above, the Niger authorities said, the postponement of the mission is necessary, as is the revision of certain aspects of the programme, including meetings with certain personalities which, it said, cannot take place for obvious security reasons, in this atmosphere of threatened aggression against Niger.
It requested the Resident Representation of ECOWAS in Niamey to kindly communicate its position to ECOWAS while assuring the sub-regional bloc of its highest consideration.
A three-person ECOWAS delegation led by former Nigerian military head of state, Abdulsalami Abubakar, was not allowed to see the coup leader, Abdourahamane Tchiani, or detained President Mohamed Bazoum.
Similarly, US Acting Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland on Monday visited Niamey but was also not allowed to meet Mr Tchiani. (PremiumTimes/vitalnewsngr.com)