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New regime in Niger takes envoy out of Ivory Coast

The Ivorian president’s support for armed action against Niamey shows a relentless desire to destroy the country, coup leaders say

Niger’s new military government has recalled the country’s ambassador to the Ivory Coast, citing “threatening remarks” by Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara, who they say “has advocated” armed action to return Niamey’s pre-coup leadership.

The coup leaders said in a statement on Monday that Ouattara’s “eagerness” to send troops to Niger for a military intervention to free detained President Mohamed Bazoum shows a “relentless desire to destroy the country and its people.”

Last week, the Ivorian leader called the July 26 coup in Niger and Bazoum’s detention “terrorist” act and said that his country would join Nigeria and Benin in providing troops for a mission fronted by the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States, or ECOWAS.


Ouattara made the remark last week following an ECOWAS summit in Nigeria, where the bloc’s leaders decided to convene a standby force for possible intervention in neighboring Niger.

He told reporters in Abuja that a military operation to restore constitutional order in Niamey should begin “as soon as possible,” indicating his country’s readiness to contribute between 850 and 1,100 troops to an ECOWAS mission.

A spokesperson for Niger’s new military rulers, Amadou Abdramane, “totally” rejected Ouattara’s remarks on Monday, saying the leader’s willingness to “carry out this aggression” against Niger is “illegal in all respects, and senseless.”

[This] reflects an injunction addressed to him and to some of his ECOWAS peers by other external powers with the aim of preserving interests that no longer correspond to those of Niger today,” Abdramane stated, hinting at meddling from beyond the ECOWAS region.


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Mohamed Toumba, one of the leading figures of the National Council for the Protection of the Fatherland, attends the demonstration of coup supporters and greets them at a stadium in the capital city of Niger, Niamey on August 6, 2023.
Niger’s neighbors activate standby force for intervention

West African leaders at a summit last Thursday reiterated their preference for a diplomatic solution but noted that military intervention remains an option, due to the coup leaders’ “defiant” posture.

Niger’s military rulers announced on Sunday that they would charge ousted President Bazoum with “high treason” for his engagement with foreign governments and international organizations.

ECOWAS leaders condemned the move on Monday, calling it another form of provocation that “contradicts the reported willingness of the military authorities … [to] restore constitutional order through peaceful means.


August 15, 2023 at 05:44PM

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