Thousands rally in Niger’s capital in support of new military government
Thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets in Niger’s capital to express support for the country's new military government, who seized power from pro-Western officials last month.
The rallies swept Niamey on Sunday, with participants chanting slogans against the country's former colonial power France and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
ECOWAS, which is West Africa's main regional bloc, has threatened Niger's new leaders with military intervention to reinstate the country's former authorities.
Niger's new leaders, who toppled President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26, allege that France, a close ally of Bazoum, is behind ECOWAS' anti-coup stance.
The demonstrators waved placards reading, "Stop the military intervention" and "No to sanctions," in reference to financial and trade bans imposed on Niger by ECOWAS less than a week after the coup.
Despite mounting pressure, General Abdourahamane Tiani said in an address on Saturday that he does not plan to "confiscate" power.
Tiani added that he would launch a national dialogue on a transition back to civilian rule, which "should last no longer than three years."