Hostile to any military intervention in Niger, Algeria is continuing its mediation efforts with the dispatch Thursday to this country of the number two of its diplomats who notably met the Prime Minister appointed by the military regime in Niamey, according to official sources.
The Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lounès Magramane, “is making a visit to the Republic of Niger from today August 24, 2023”, the ministry announced on Thursday, on its X account (ex-Twitter).
According to Niger’s national radio station La Voix du Sahel, Magramane met Niger’s prime minister under the military regime, Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine, in the presence of several members of his government – Defense Minister Salifou Mody, Foreign Affairs Minister Bakary Yaou Sangaré and Justice, Alio Daouda. On Wednesday, it was the head of Algerian diplomacy, Ahmed Attaf, who had started a tour of discussions in three ECOWAS countries (Nigeria, Benin and Ghana) on the mandate of Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune for “consultations on the crisis in Niger and the means to deal with it”.
This trip constitutes an additional stage in the “tireless and continuous efforts deployed by Algeria to contribute to a peaceful solution to the crisis in Niger, avoiding an increase in risks for this neighboring and brotherly country and for the whole region”, specified the Ministry. Algerian diplomacy has a long history of mediation or attempts to settle numerous international conflicts. President Tebboune let it be known on August 6 that he “categorically refused any military intervention” from outside Niger which, according to him, represents “a direct threat to Algeria”. There “will be no solution without us. We are the first concerned”, he added, in an interview on national television.
The largest nation in Africa, Algeria, which shares nearly 1,000 km of border with Niger, is bordering two countries in the grip of deep crises: Mali and Libya and it refuses the opening of a third front . After the overthrow on July 26 by soldiers of Nigerien President Mohamed Bazoum, elected in 2021, ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) 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)”, underlined Mr. Tebboune, estimating that in the event of a military operation, “the whole of the Sahel s ‘will ignite’.
This article is originally published on lorientlejour.com