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Niger, coup. The head of French diplomacy expiring ultimatum to the junta

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Catherine Colonna, head of French democracy, announced that she had met with the legitimate Prime Minister of Niger, Ouhoumoudou Mahamadou, who was in Paris. In a radio interview, she stressed that “the unanimous demand of the international community is the immediate restoration of democracy.” Sunday marks the deadline for handing over power to the junta by the countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Minister Catherine Colonna announced on RFI radio that she spoke to the legitimate prime minister on Saturday Niger Ouhoumoudou Mahamadou to discuss the situation in the country after the July 26 military coup. – Prime Minister Mahamadou is in Paris, he could not return to his country. I spoke with him as a representative of the legal authorities of Niger and the democratically elected president Mohamed Bazoum – said the head of the French Foreign Ministry.

>> What is happening in Niger and what it means for the rest of the world, including Europe <<

“We agreed that the international community is unanimous, as are the countries of the region, in its condemnation of the attempted military coup in Niger,” stressed the head of French diplomacy.

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The time allotted for giving up power has passed

– The unanimous demand of the international community is the immediate restoration of democracy, before the deadline set for tomorrow (Sunday) by the states of the region – said Colonna on Saturday. She referred to the announcement by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) that on 30 July gave the junta a week to hand over power and release the imprisoned President Bazoum. ECOWAS threatened that failure to meet these demands by the military who seized power in Niamey would be met with a strong response. Sanctions and the use of force have not been ruled out.

Junta supporters gathered to pray for the soldiers in NiameyPAP/EPA/ISSIFOU DJIBO

ECOWAS defense ministers have drawn up a plan for possible military intervention in Niger if junta leaders do not hand over power to a democratically elected president, Abdel-Fatau Musah, ECOWAS Commissioner for Politics, Peace and Security, said on Friday after a meeting in Abuja. These announcements should be taken very seriously, warned the head of the French Foreign Ministry. – (The putschists) have until tomorrow to abandon this adventurism and restore democracy (…) Constitutional order must be restored in Niger, (…) this is a very clear position of both Franceas well as the countries of the region and UN and the entire international community, concluded Colonna.

Everyday life in Niamey, NigerPAP/EPA/ISSIFOU DJIBO

Coup in Niger

On July 26, the military junta overthrew and placed under house arrest the democratically elected president of Niger, Mohamed Bazoum. The coup had a visible anti-Western and especially anti-French character. The deposed President Bazoum warned that the Sahel region could fall under influence Russia.

It was the seventh military coup in Central and West Africa in just three years.

READ MORE: A blow to democracy on the continent. The military dictatorship is already stretching from east to west

Main photo source: PAP/EPA/ISSIFOU DJIBO

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