The ruling military in Niger has accepted the terms and conditions for transitioning back to civilian rule and intends to present the plan to a regional bloc.
Togo’s Foreign Minister, Robert Dussey, announced via Niger’s national television that an agreement had been reached “on the content and timing of the transition” with Niger’s junta-appointed Prime Minister Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine and Foreign Minister Bakary Yaou Sangare.
“We are ready to present the plan… to the mediating heads of state and the ECOWAS Commission,” he said, referring to the Economic Community of West African States.
Following the coup in July that ousted President Mohamed Bazoum, Niger became the latest Sahel country to experience political upheaval.
As a response, the regional coalition implemented stringent sanctions, trade suspensions, and even contemplated military intervention.
The imposed sanctions, halting of international financing, and aid suspensions have plunged Niger, already one of the world’s poorest nations, into dire economic straits.
In response to the sanctions, the military leadership in October announced a 40% reduction in the 2023 budget, attributing it to the severe sanctions imposed by international and regional bodies.
During a meeting in Abuja, ECOWAS leaders emphasized that easing punitive measures against Niger would be reliant on a “short transition” period.
Additionally, they designated a committee comprising the presidents of Benin, Togo, and Sierra Leone to engage in negotiations with the Nigerien military leadership regarding the commitments to be fulfilled.