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We won’t rejoin ECOWAS - Niger junta leader vows to never release Bazoum

General Tchiani is confident in Niger’s ability to navigate these challenges without help from ECOWAS.

Niger Junta rebuffs all diplomatic missions so far [Reuters]

In an interview with the RTN news channel in Niamey, General Tchiani reaffirmed the decision of the junta to abstain from rejoining ECOWAS, citing grievances related to the bloc's handling of crucial supplies and financial assets.

"Just because we are members of the bloc, food and medicine supplies were cut off. Power was also cut off, and our funds have been frozen. So, we consulted our friends in the Sahel on exiting the bloc to better the lives of our citizens," stated General Tchiani.

Furthermore, General Tchiani expressed the junta's steadfast refusal to release the ousted president, Mohammed Bazoum, who was detained following the coup on July 26, 2023.

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"We would never release Bazoum. Setting Bazoum free is akin to stabbing ourselves in the stomach, which would do harm to Nigeriens," asserted General Tchiani.

The withdrawal of Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso from ECOWAS, announced on January 27, 2024, despite previous efforts at reconciliation, underscores a significant shift in regional dynamics.

In response to their withdrawal, the foreign ministers of the three countries recommended the creation of a confederation as part of a long-term strategy to unite the West African neighbours within a federation.

Despite concerns about potential repercussions in terms of security, trade, and socio-economic activities, General Tchiani expressed confidence in the country's ability to navigate these challenges following its withdrawal from ECOWAS.

"Now that the world is a global village, is the world within ECOWAS? So, God will feed every human He created," General Tchiani remarked.

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