Niger's Elite Army Begin Advancing Toward Capital's Airport

Niger's Elite Army Begin Advancing Toward Capital's Airport

Aug. 9, 2023, 7:47 a.m.

Elite units of Niger's army have started advancing towards the airport of the capital Niamey, the Al Arabiya TV channel reported reports Russian news agency TAss.

According to it, elite units of the Niger army "are advancing towards the presidential palace and the airport." The TV channel does not report the number of units moving toward these sites or their intentions.

On July 26, military rebels in Niger announced the removal of President Mohamed Bazoum, closure of national borders, introduction of a curfew and suspension of the constitution, as well as a ban on political parties. On July 28, they declared that General Abdourahmane Tchiani had become head of state. During the coup, Tchiani headed the presidential guard, units of which physically seized President Bazoum and continue to hold him and his family at his residence.

At an emergency summit on July 30, ECOWAS leaders demanded that the rebels reinstate the president and restore constitutional order to the country. The ECOWAS states gave Niger rebels one week to meet these demands. On August 4, the militaries of the ECOWAS member states announced that their emergency meeting had developed a contingency plan for intervention in Niger. The ECOWAS ultimatum expired on August 7. However, the Al Arabiya TV channel reports, citing a statement by the regional organization's defense ministers, that the ECOWAS military leadership recognized the inadvisability of using force against Niger. At the same time, it decided to increase sanctions pressure to force the rebels to release Bazoum.

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