Coup: Niger’s military junta forms new government

Niger Republic severe ties with Nigeria as peace talk fails

A new government has been formed in the Republic of Niger by military leaders who seized power in a coup in July, as announced on national television on Thursday.

The 21-member government will be led by Prime Minister Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine, with generals from the new military governing council in charge of the defence and interior ministries.

In response to the coup, leaders from the West African bloc ECOWAS will hold an emergency summit on Thursday.

The meeting will take place in Nigeria’s capital Abuja and important decisions are expected to be made.

ECOWAS has stated that it is seeking a diplomatic solution to the crisis caused by the coup, but has not ruled out the possibility of using force.

The summit comes after the country’s military chiefs defied an ultimatum to restore the elected president, Mohamed Bazoum, who was overthrown two weeks ago.

Struggling to stem a cascade of coups among its members since 2020, the bloc gave the troops who seized power on July 26 until last Sunday to reinstate Bazoum or face the potential use of force.

But the coup leaders remained defiant and the deadline passed without action.

In their latest show of resistance against international pressure, the military leaders named a new government, according to a decree read out on national television on Thursday.

Prime Minister Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine will lead the 21-member administration, with generals from the new military governing council heading the defence and interior ministries.

The possibility of a military intervention in Niger, a fragile nation that ranks among the world’s poorest, has sparked debate within ECOWAS and warnings from neighbouring Algeria and Russia.

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