Algeria proposes six-month transition period to solve Niger crisis

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Algeria on Tuesday proposed a six-month transitional period led by a civilian to solve the crisis in neighboring Niger.

Niger was plunged into turmoil on July 26 when Gen. Abdourahamane Tchiani, a former commander of the presidential guard, led a military intervention that ousted President Mohamed Bazoum.

Bazoum was elected in 2021 in Niger’s first democratic power transition since it gained independence from French colonial rule in 1960.

“Algeria proposes a new initiative that includes a transitional period of six months to resolve the Niger crisis,” Foreign Minister Ahmed Attaf told a press conference in Algiers.

The top diplomat said the transitional period would be led by a civilian.

“Most of the countries we spoke to oppose military intervention in Niger to end the crisis,” he added.

Attaf said the 6-point Algerian initiative is a “summary of consultations and contacts that took place since the first day of the military coup in Niger.”

He, however, did not provide any further details about the content of the initiative.

Algeria opposes military intervention in Niger and has campaigned against any military action in the West African country.

Attaf had visited Nigeria, Ghana and Benin, members of the Economic Community of Western African States (ECOWAS), last week to discuss a peaceful solution to the conflict in Niger.

The bloc had earlier ordered the activation of its standby force on Aug. 10 to restore constitutional order in Niger.

The Algerian foreign minister said the initiative “will be the focus of consultations” with Nigerien parties, neighboring countries, ECOWAS members and with parties supporting a peaceful solution to the conflict.

He said the Algerian ambassador to Niger had held three meetings with Gen. Tchiani about the need to restore the constitutional and democratic system in the country.

“Algeria refuses to open its airspace to military aircraft to intervene in Niger as Algiers strongly opposes this move,” he stressed.