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Niger crisis: ECOWAS counting on the support of the EU

From left to right: ECOWAS commissioner Abdel-Fatau Musah, President of ECOWAS commision Omar Alieu Touray and Niger's Hassoumi Massoudou, in Toledo on Aug. 31, 2023.   -  
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Andrea Comas/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved


An ECOWAS delegation that included the president of the commission Omar Alieu Touray was in Toledo Spain Thursday (Aug. 31), to ask for support from the European Union.

The officials were accompanied by Niger's minister of foreign affairs appointed under president Bazoum.

It's already been over a month since Bazoum was deposed by the army.

The west African bloc presented its Niger policy to the 27-nation bloc.

"My visit this afternoon is to explain our position to the European Union, what has informed the various measures that ECOWAS has taken and the collaboration we seek from all our partners," Omar Alieu Touray, President of ECOWAS.

"As you know, the world is a global village. One event in a particular place affects the whole world. So that is why we feel it, we find it important to come to Spain to talk to our partners from the European Union so that they understand what we are doing and give us the support that they are able to give us."

EU foreign ministers were gathering for a one-day informal meeting in Toledo, central Spain.

"African solutions to African problems. We are on listening mode, as I said yesterday (Aug. 30) we are ready to consider to study any proposal coming from the ECOWAS. I want to repeat the idea that President Bazoum was the only authority democratically elected in the whole Sahel," the European Union top diplomat Josep Borrell said.

ECOWAS has imposed sanctions against Niger demanding president Bazoum be reinstated.

In an interview with news agency AP on August 23rd, Musah said ECOWAS was not discussing military plans with any external partners and everything it was planning is based on the resources of member states.

Earlier this month, ECOWAS said 11 of its 15 member states had agreed to intervene militarily if talks didn't work.

Despite a meeting between ECOWAS envoys and the Niger junta in mid-August, no common ground was found.

The threat of a military intervention by the west African block still looms.

E.U countries worry that instability in Sahel will put more people on the route of irregular migration.

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