Niger’s military junta regime calls on Togo president to mediate

Niger’s military junta regime calls on Togo president to mediate

Niger’s military junta has called on Togo’s President Faure Gnassingbe “to be a facilitator, to be able to facilitate this dialogue with our various partners,” in particular with the West African bloc ECOWAS which has maintained sanctions against the country since the July coup.

While meeting Gnassingbe in Togo’s capital Lomé, Niger’s Minister of Defense, General Salifou Mody, said the junta government also wanted Togo to be a guarantor of a deal for French troops to withdraw from the Sahel country.

Following the coup on 26 July, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) imposed tight financial sanctions and closed border trade with Niger to pressure the junta who had overthrown elected president Mohamed Bazoum to restore constitutional order.

General Salifou Mody denounced these “cynical” sanctions, and thanked Togo for continuing to talk with the military regime after the coup, when other avenues were shut. Although an ECOWAS member, Togo has taken several bilateral initiatives to engage in dialogue with Niger’s military regime. “We have never closed our country to friends (…) Niger is open, even if arrangements have been made so that we can no longer speak with our partners,” Mody told the press.

Niger is battling two jihadist insurgencies — a spillover in its southeast from a long conflict in neighboring Nigeria, and an offensive in the west by militants crossing from Mali and Burkina Faso. Togo regularly attempts to position itself as a mediator in the region, such as when it took part in 2022 in efforts to free 49 Ivorian soldiers held prisoner in Bamako, Mali.


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