UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres reiterated on Tuesday his full support for the ongoing mediation efforts of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to resolve the political crisis in Niger and restore constitutional order.
According to the UN Information Office, Guterres said that the special representative of the UN Secretary-General, Leonardo Santos Simao, who is currently in Abuja, continues to provide his good offices to regional stakeholders.
The secretary-general stressed the urgent need to ensure that life-saving humanitarian work continues unhindered, stressing the need to allow the UN Humanitarian Air Services, which provide a vital link to remote communities in Niger to operate and continue to serve those communities.
On the other hand, the leaders of the ECOWAS will hold a meeting next Thursday in the Nigerian capital Abuja under the chairmanship of Bola Tinubu, the current chairman of the regional organization.
The meeting will discuss ways to respond to the recent events in Niger.
It comes after the expiration of the deadline given by the leaders of ECOWAS to the Military Council in Niger on Sunday to reverse their position and restore the deposed president to office.
Victoria Nuland, acting US Deputy Secretary of State, said she had travelled to Niger’s capital Niamey and held “frank and difficult” talks with senior Junta officials.
Nuland said in a briefing to reporters that during the meeting, Junta officials did not pay attention to US proposals on seeking to restore democratic order and her request to meet with the ousted president of Niger Mohamed Bazoum was met by refusal.
She revealed that the military group did not respond to her request to meet with its commander, General Abdul Rahman Tiani, nor did they respond to her request to meet with the detained President Mohammed Bazoum, noting that US officials contacted the latter by phone.
Nuland said she had offered “a number of options” to end the coup.
She stressed that she explained the consequences for relations with the US if the putschists do not return power to Bazoum or if they follow the example of neighboring countries in cooperating with mercenaries of the Russian Wagner group.