Again, Tinubu sends Islamic Leaders to Niger Republic for dialogue

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ECOWAS Chair and Nigeria’s President, Bola Tinubu, during second summit on Niger coup held in Abuja on Thursday, August 10, 2023

President Bola Tinubu has approved the return of a delegation of Islamic leaders (Ulama) to Niger Republic for another round of dialogue with the coup leaders. Tinubu made the decision on Thursday after a meeting with the top clerics led by Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi who were recently in Niamey, the Niger Republic capital, two weeks ago for dialogue with the junta led by General Abdourahamane Tiani.

Tinubu made the decision in his capacity as the Chairperson of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Since the junta seized power from President Mohamed Bazoum July 26, 2023, ECOWAS had imposed sanctions on Niger in response to the coup and has not ruled out using force against the army officers.

The West African bloc has approved the deployment of a “standby force to restore constitutional order” in Niger as soon as possible but remains committed to finding a diplomatic solution to the crisis. ECOWAS envoy to Niger Republic and former Nigerian Head of State, Abdulsalami Abubakar, upon return from the coup-torn country had said that his delegation’s meeting with Niger Republic coup leaders last weekend was fruitful.

He said diplomacy won’t fail to restore the democratically elected government of deposed President Mohamed Bazoum. Tiani had said the junta will return to civilian rule within three years but ECOWAS rejected the move. The African Union had suspended Niger Republic over the ongoing situation.

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