West Africa defence meeting on Niger postponed


A planned meeting by West African chiefs of defence staff to discuss the coup in Niger has been postponed at short notice.

The talks – called by the regional bloc, Ecowas – had been expected to take place in the Ghanaian capital, Accra, on Saturday.

No reason was given for the delay. On Thursday, West African leaders ordered a standby military force to be activated in readiness to restore civilian rule in Niger.

Large crowds of supporters of last month’s coup gathered near a French military base in Niamey on Friday to denounce Ecowas and France.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has expressed grave concern for the family of deposed president of Niger, who he said were being held under worsening conditions.