In order to find a lasting solution to the Niger crisis, the Algerian Foreign Minister, Ahmed Attaf arrived Nigeria on Wednesday and is expected to tour Benin and Ghana.
Minister Ahmed Attaf, “mandated by President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, begins today (Wednesday) working visits to Nigeria, Benin, and Ghana”, the ministry announced on its X (ex-Twitter) account.
He is expected to hold “consultations on the crisis in Niger and ways of dealing with it” with his counterparts in these countries “which belong to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)”, the ministry said.
Algerian diplomacy favours “a political solution that will spare this country and the entire region the repercussions of a possible escalation of the situation”.
Algeria which shares almost 1,000 km of border with Niger has a long history of mediation or attempting to resolve numerous international conflicts.
President Tebboune said on August 6 that he “categorically rejects any external military intervention” in Niger, which he described as “a direct threat to Algeria”.
There will be “no solution without us. We are the first concerned”, he added, during the nationwide broadcast.
The Algerian President queried: “What is the current situation of countries that have undergone military intervention?”, then added: “Look at the situation in Libya and Syria”.
As Africa’s largest nation, Algeria borders Mali and Libya which are smattering from long-drawn crisis, and refuses to open a third front on its borders.
The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) has decided “to suspend the participation of Niger in all activities of the AU and its organs and institutions until the effective restoration of constitutional order in the country”, according to a communiqué issued on Tuesday.
Following the overthrow by the military on July 26 of Niger’s president Mohamed Bazoum, ECOWAS announced on August 10 its intention to deploy a West African force “to restore constitutional order in Niger”.
“Two countries (Mali and Burkina Faso, editor’s note) are ready to enter the battle (alongside Niger, editor’s note)”, Mr. Tebboune had stressed, estimating that in the event of a military operation, “the whole Sahel will go up in flames”.
In Mali and Burkina Faso, which like Niger face insurgencies, the military juntas have warned that they will stand by their neighbour. Niger’s new leader, General Abdourahamane Tiani, assured on Saturday that military intervention “will not be the walk in the park that some people think it will be”.