Algeria and Egypt have moved against military intervention in the Niger Republic, insisting that dialogue remains the best option out of the current political crisis in the country.
Recall that West African leaders had, in the aftermath of the coup that toppled President Mohamed Bazoum, threatened to embark on military intervention in the Sahel country should the coup leaders, led by General Abdourahmane Tchiani, fail to restore democracy in the country and the ousted president to power.
Oppositions to military option have also come from prominent individuals and groups in Nigeria, including the National Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, NSCIA, Jama’atu Nasril Islam, JNI, Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, CBCN, Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, and Northern Elders Forum, NEF, among others.
While also advocating dialogue to resolve the crisis in Niger, they contended that any military operation in the country could create problems for Nigeria, being its closest neighbour.
This is even as indications emerged yesterday that over 7,000 migrants are currently stranded in Niger as a result of border closures.
To find a solution to the lingering problem, the Algerian President, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, has dispatched the foreign minister, Ahmed Attaf, to visit Nigeria, Benin Republic and Ghana.
The Foreign Minister, who started the tour yesterday, is to hold consultations with his counterparts in ECOWAS countries, with a mandate to make a case for diplomacy, rather than military intervention.
Algeria, which shares a 1,000-kilometre (600-mile) long land border with Niger, had previously warned against a military solution, which Tebboune said would be “a direct threat” to his North African country.
He said: “There will be no solution without us (Algeria). We are the first people affected.”
The African Union suspended Niger on Tuesday until civilian rule is restored and also said it would assess the implications of any armed intervention.
Algeria also shares borders with Libya and Mali, both in the throes of years-long conflicts.
Niger is the fourth nation in West Africa since 2020 to suffer a coup, following Burkina Faso, Guinea and Mali.