meeting of the commanders of the West African armies in Accra – Telquel.ma
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meeting of the commanders of the West African armies in Accra – Telquel.ma

LDemocracy is what we defend and support”said Nigeria’s Chief of Staff, General Christopher Gwabin Musa, at the opening of this meeting in Accra between military officials of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Although the option of an armed operation remains on the table, ECOWAS appears to still support the path of dialogue with the military authorities that ousted President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26.

“The purpose of our meeting is not only to react to events, but to proactively chart a path that leads to peace and supports stability”said Nigeria’s Chief of Staff, General Christopher Gwabin Musa, during this meeting of military officials from ECOWAS countries.

The key meeting comes two days after a deadly attack in southwestern Niger by suspected terrorists that killed at least 17 Nigerian soldiers and wounded 20 others.

It comes a day after Washington announced the imminent arrival of the new United States ambassador to Niger, Kathleen FitzGibbon, who was given the green light by the Senate on July 27, a day after the military took power.

“We can’t wait for Ambassador FitzGibbon to arrive in Niamey”, US State Department spokesman Vedant Patel told reporters. The spokesman, however, clarified that this arrival does not mean that the United States has approved the military coup and that Washington is still seeking the release and return to power of the newly elected President Mohamed Bazoum. “This is not a sign of a change in US policy, but of its continued engagement” in this crisis, he insisted.

The ambassador is expected to move to Niamey this August, despite the recall of non-essential embassy staff earlier this month.

(with MAP and AFP)

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