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We won’t return to ECOWAS – Niger coup leader vows

General Abdourahamane Tchiani, head of the military junta in Niger Republic has vowed that none of the three Sahel countries would rejoin the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Gen. Tchiani disclosed this in an interview he granted to the RTN news channel in the capital Niamey Monday, Feb. 12.

Recall that on Jan. 28, the military regimes in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger announced their immediate withdrawal from the West African bloc, ECOWAS.

The leaders of the three Sahel nations issued a statement, saying it was a “sovereign decision” to leave the Economic Community of West African States “without delay”.

He said, “Just because we are members of the bloc, food and medicine supply was cut off. Power was also cut off and our own funds have been frozen. So, we consulted our friends in the Sahel on exiting the bloc to better the lives of our citizens. That we should withdraw from the bloc that is answerable to the foreign countries. So, we have withdrawn our membership from the bloc and will never return to the union.”

Responding to the consequences of its withdrawal on security, trade and socio-economic activities, he said, “Now the world is a global village and is the world within ECOWAS? So, God will feed every human He created.”

Tchiani also said that they will not release Mohamed Bazoum, the former Niger president who was overthrown by members of his presidential guard on July 26 and has been detained with his family since then.

“We would never release Bazoum. Setting Bazoum free is akin to stabbing ourselves in the stomach which would do harm to Nigeriens,” he added.

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