Speaking to the press on his return from a trip to Hungary, Erdogan said the regional bloc plans to send troops against Niger's coup leaders is unacceptable. "Military intervention in Niger would mean spreading instability to many African countries. I hope that peace and stability will be achieved in Niger as soon as possible," the president said, as quoted by the TRT television channel.
In this context, Erdogan brought up the important role that Türkiye could play in settling the conflict in the West African country. He said the Foreign Ministry was holding talks on the issue.
The president called for democratic elections to be held in Niger in the near future. Türkiye will continue to support Niamey, believing that "the people of Niger will take care of democracy and go to the polls as soon as possible," Erdogan said.
El presidente de Turquía, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, rechazó este lunes la advertencia de la Comunidad Económica de Estados de África Occidental (CEDEAO) de intervenir militarmente contra la junta militar golpista de Níger si fracasan las negociaciones diplomáticas.
The tweet reads, "Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday rejected the warning by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to intervene militarily against Niger's military coup junta if diplomatic negotiations fail."
A group of military rebels seized power in Niger last month, announcing the removal of President Mohamed Bazoum. The National Council for the Protection of the Homeland, headed by General Abdourahmane Tchiani, was established to run the country. The coup triggered sanctions and threats of armed intervention from regional neighbors.
ECOWAS recently prepared a standby force to be deployed in Niamey to restore democratic order should its preferred diplomatic efforts fail. ECOWAS's commissioner for political affairs, Abdel-Fatau Musah, said after a meeting of the bloc's military chiefs in Ghana on August 18 that the exact date for the intervention in Niger had been set but had not yet been officially announced.
According to the regional group officials, except Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea and Chad, all other member states are willing to contribute troops to the standby force. The group is made up of 15 members: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.
General Tchiani has expressed his willingness to work with ECOWAS to find a way out of the current crisis. After meeting with a peace delegation from the regional bloc in Niamey on Saturday, the head of the military junta announced a proposal to transition to civilian rule within three years.
ECOWAS rejected such a plan, warning that "the sooner the coup leaders return power to civilians, the better for them." Tchiani said Niamey was not interested in war, but was ready to defend itself against any external aggression.