West Africa delegation met ousted president Bazoum and junta leader during Niger visit

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A delegation from West Africa’s main regional bloc (ECOWAS) met Niger’s ousted president Mohamed Bazoum and junta leader General Abdourahmane Tiani during a visit to the capital Niamey on Saturday, a Nigerian presidential spokesperson said in an online post.

A delegation from ECOWAS flew to Niger’s capital Niamey on Saturday to hold talks with the junta, an ECOWAS source told Reuters, as the bloc pursues diplomatic ways to reverse the July 26 coup.

Coup leaders’ acceptance of the mission signals a potential willingness to negotiate after the bloc on Friday doubled-down on its threat to use force as a last resort to restore democracy, saying an undisclosed “D-Day” had been agreed for a possible military intervention.

While previous ECOWAS missions have been rebuffed, Saturday’s delegation was met at Niamey airport by the junta-appointed prime minister.

The group that flew in was led by Nigeria’s former military leader Abdulsalami Abubakar and included ECOWAS commission president Omar Touray, the source said.