Algeria proposes six-month transition period for Niger coup leaders to return power to civilians

The Algerian government has proposed an initiative to resolve the political crisis in neighbouring Republic of Niger with a six-month transition period led by a civilian.

The Algerian Foreign Minister, Ahmed Attaf, announced the proposal on Tuesday, Reuters reported.

Attaf, who recently toured West African states, said, “Most of the countries we have talked to are against military intervention to end the crisis.”

President Mohamed Bazoum was ousted on July 26 in a military coup led by the former commander of Niger’s presidential guard, Abdourahamane Tchiani.

Leaders in the Economic Community of West African States said that they would keep all options on the table for a peaceful resolution to the crisis and ordered the activation of an ECOWAS standby force to restore constitutional order in Niger.

Algeria had repeatedly said it was against military intervention, pointing to the chaos that followed NATO action in Libya in 2011 during its uprising against longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Algerian officials have spoken three times since the coup to the Niger military leader, who wants a transitional period of up to three years, Attaf said.

As part of its initiative, Algeria would seek a United Nations conference to restore constitutional order, propose guarantees for all sides in the crisis, and host a conference on development in the Sahel region, it said without elaborating.

Last week Algerian state television said President Abdelmadjid Tebboune had denied permission to France for a possible military operation in Niger, but France denied it had sought any such permission.


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