Nigeria’s Foreign Minister claimed that Algeria’s mediation with the military in Niger is “welcome,” remembering that dialogue was always the preferred method of ECOWAS, which maintains its threat of involvement.
Yusuf Tuggar on Thursday, reiterated that diplomacy was still the preferred choice, but he did not rule out armed involvement.
“We welcome all parties seeking a peaceful solution to this crisis, including Algeria,” stated Minister Yusuf Maitama Tuggar of Nigeria, which now holds the rotating chair of the Economic Community of States. West African Community (ECOWAS), which has threatened Niger with military action in order to restore constitutional order.
He told France 24 in an interview that ECOWAS welcomed all parties “seeking a peaceful resolution to this imbroglio, including Algeria.”
Military involvement, however, was described as “not off the table” by the minister.
“It’s still under consideration, it’s not the only option”, he said, adding that it would not “immediately translate to war as it’s been misconstrued”.
Algeria, which shares a border with Niger, has said that it opposes any armed intervention and has recommended a diplomatic solution.
Niamey said on Monday that it had accepted Algeria’s mediation offer, the conditions of which were not disclosed.
He also demanded the release of Bazoum, who has been detained at his home since the coup.
ECOWAS has refused to comment on whether it would tolerate a transitional period in which the military would retain control before transferring over to civilian government.