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Niamey residents call for peace as tension escalates

A supporter of Niger's National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland (CNSP) holds a Niger flag as they gather for a demonstration in Niamey on August 11, 2023   -  
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R****esidents of Niamey called for peace as tension continued to escalate between Niger's new military regime and the West African regional bloc that has ordered the deployment of troops to restore Niger's flailing democracy.

"What can they do now? Are they (ECOWAS soldiers) going to attack Niger's presidential palace to save (President Mohamed) Bazoum? It makes no sense. Do they think they'll find the president alive too? There are a lot of hypotheses. I think they (ECOWAS heads of state) will be forced to come and negotiate with the junta in power in Niger," said Salif Lawali,  resident of the capital_._

“We agree with the coup, 100%, and we want peace in our country. Whoever becomes (whoever runs the country), we want peace, that's our goal," added Akhmoudou Galita, civilian.

The ECOWAS bloc said on Thursday it had decided to deploy a “standby force” aimed at restoring constitutional order in Niger after its Sunday deadline to reinstate ousted President Mohamed Bazoum expired.

Economic sanctions were also imposed on Niger by the heads of state of ECOWAS.

These measures were taken in response to the overthrow of President Mohamed Bazoum by members of the armed forces.

Bazoum has been under house arrest since the coup on July 26.

Residents of the capital condemned possible violence or unrest that could jeopardise the security of the country.

Another resident said that there should be a peaceful transition of power but that "(Abdourahmane) Tchiani (of Niger's Junta) should be in power for while."

The international community, including the United Nations and other regional organisations, has expressed deep concerns about the situation in Niger and stands united in support of the swift restoration of democracy

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