The leader of Niger, who assumed power in a coup in July, met with the President of Togo on Friday to strengthen diplomatic ties. This comes as international sanctions are impacting Niamey’s military leadership in the aftermath of the coup that ousted elected President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26,Daily Trust reports.
Following the putsch, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) imposed severe sanctions on Niger’s military leaders. However, Togo, also an ECOWAS member, has independently taken steps to mediate between Niger and its neighboring countries.
General Abdourahamane Tiani held discussions with Togo’s President Faure Gnassingbe in Lome, where they expressed their commitment to enhancing bilateral cooperation. President Gnassingbe’s office announced the establishment of a Togolese embassy in Niamey as a symbol of strengthened ties.
The leaders also deliberated on matters of security cooperation and collaboration on a transport route connecting Lome and Niamey through Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou, once the situation is normalized.
The sanctions have had a significant impact on Niger, a country already ranking among the world’s poorest. The issue is expected to be a focal point at the upcoming ECOWAS summit in Nigeria on Sunday.
Nigeria recently called for the release of President Bazoum, suggesting he be allowed to move to a third country before considering the lifting of sanctions on Niger. However, Niger rejected this proposal, citing the need for a transition period of up to three years to restore civilian rule amid ongoing battles against jihadist rebellions in southwestern and southeastern Niger.