West African bloc’s deadline for Niger’s coup leaders expires Sunday
A deadline by the West African bloc of nations (ECOWAS) to restore the civilian government in Niger expires on Sunday, after the recent military coup in the country.
However, ECOWAS says it still prefers a diplomatic solution, Eurones reported.
The ultimatum was presented by ECOWAS a week ago after the military toppled elected president Mohamed Bazoum.
Failure to reinstate him opens up the possibility of using force.
"We want diplomacy to work, and we want this message clearly transmitted to the leaders of the Junta in Niger that we are giving them every opportunity to reverse what they have done," explained Abdel-Fatau Musah, the bloc's Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security.
The coup leaders have severed military cooperation with former colonial rulers France, which has 1,500 troops based in Niger.
ECOWAS says it has a plan in place for military intervention but it will not elaborate on the details.
Two neighbouring countries, Mali and Burkina-Faso, who have both been subject to recent coups, strongly opposed ECOWAS moves and have promised military support for Niger in case of foreign intervention.