Niger’s junta leader, General Abdourahmane Tchiani, has signaled a new willingness to engage in dialogue, marking a potential shift in the regime’s stance.
Following the overthrow of President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26 by Tchiani’s forces, the junta had previously rebuffed numerous attempts at peaceful engagement.
However, a recent meeting with a delegation of Islamic scholars from Nigeria seemed to open the door to a change in approach.
During the meeting, Tchiani was quoted as saying that avenues for diplomacy and peaceful resolution were now under consideration to address the ongoing political situation.
The encounter took place in Niger’s capital and involved discussions with prominent Islamic scholar Bala Lau, Chairman of Jam’atul Izalatu Bida Waikamatu Sunnah.
Lau later issued a statement detailing the topics that were deliberated, which included the ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) demand for the reinstatement of President Bazoum.
When asked about the prospects of dialogue, Prime Minister of Niger, Ali Mahamane Lamine Zeine, affirmed that the country’s leader was indeed open to the idea. Zeine expressed optimism that talks with ECOWAS representatives could occur in the near future.
“We have reached an agreement, and our country’s leader has given the green light for dialogue. The delegation will convey our message to the Nigerian President, and we hope that in the coming days, ECOWAS will visit us to discuss the potential lifting of sanctions,” stated Zeine.