The coup plotters ousted Bazoum on July 26, and despite ECOWAS’ efforts to restore democracy in Niger, the country’s military seems to be resolute on holding onto power no matter what.
The leader of mutineers who seized power in Niger, Gen. Abdourahamane Tchiani, has signed a decree on the formation of a new transitional government, media reported on Thursday.
Tchiani signed the decree on Wednesday, the ActuNiger new portal reported, adding that the new interim government consists of 21 ministers.
According to the list of new government members, an absolute minority of them are in the military ranks.
On July 26 President Mohamed Bazoum was ousted and detained by his own guards, led by Tchiani, who proclaimed himself the country’s new leader.
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Then the caretaker National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland closed the country’s borders, brushing aside security agreements with France, Niger’s former coloniser.
On July 30, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) suspended all financial aid to the country and froze rebels’ assets.
The sub-regional bloc also imposed a ban on commercial flights to and from the country and closed all borders.
ECOWAS moved further and gave the coup leaders one week within which to reinstate Bazoum and restore order, hinting that it would resort to military intervention otherwise.
The ultimatum expired on Sunday.
In fresh move to consider the next step, members of ECOWAS are meeting in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja on Thursday.