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Algeria: FM Attaf proposes six-month plan to restore ‘constitutional order’ in coup-hit Niger

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Algeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmed Attaf proposed a six-month transitional plan to restore ‘constitutional order’ in neighbouring Niger during a press briefing in Algiers on Tuesday.

The foreign minister opened his speech by reiterating Algeria’s stance on the military takeover of Niger, stating that his government condemns and rejects the ‘unconstitutional change’ in leadership and calls for ‘respect for the democratic institutions’.

Attaf also demanded assurances that democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum would be reinstated by coup leaders so he could carry out his duties.

“Mr Mohamed Bazoum remains the legitimate president of the country. We call for enabling him to resume his duties as the legitimately elected president of Niger, » the Algerian minister said.

Attaf’s speech comes after he toured three countries in the Sahel region’s Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) last week. The bloc has threatened military intervention in Niger, a potential move the Algerian foreign minister has firmly rejected.

« Our strong opposition to resorting to the use of force lies in the dangerous, serious and disastrous repercussions that any military intervention would have on Niger and on the entire region, » Attaf said.

Later, the Algerian minister outlined his half-year transitional plan, which aims to ‘formulate political arrangements with the acceptance of all parties in Niger without excluding any party’.

« Provided that the duration of these arrangements does not exceed six months, as previously mentioned, and that they are under the supervision of a civil authority that enjoys the acceptance of all spectrums of the political class in Niger and leads to the restoration of constitutional order,” Attaf concluded.

On July 26, the military takeover ousted President Mohamed Bazoum and installed General Abdourahamane Tchiani, the leader of the presidential guard, as head of state.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) imposed sanctions and threatened military action, while the United States, the European Union, Russia and international groups condemned the action.

However, massive protests in support of the military emerged on the streets of Niamey. Neighbouring countries, Mali and Burkina Faso cautioned against any intervention by other West African nations, warning that it would be a ‘declaration of war’ against them too.

It marks the fifth coup in Niger since gaining independence from France in 1960, and it is the seventh military takeover to occur in West and Central Africa within three years.

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