The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has appointed Nigeria’s former military head of state, Abdulsalami Abubakar, to lead a delegation to Niger for mediation purposes.
He will be accompanied by the influential Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Abubakar, who holds considerable sway among the Muslim community, both within and outside Nigeria. The delegation will also include Alieu Touray, the president of the ECOWAS Commission.
Earlier, ECOWAS had sent the Presidents of Benin and Chad, Patrice Talon and Mahamat Déby, respectively, to Niger to engage with the coup plotters.
As a response to the military ousting of President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26, ECOWAS imposed sanctions on Niger, including a travel ban and a blockade, until Bazoum is reinstated.
The sub-regional bloc also threatened the use of force and summoned defense chiefs from the member states.
In a recent meeting held in Abuja, the defense chiefs gathered, but notable absentees were Mali, Niger, Guinea Bissau, Burkina Faso, and Guinea.
As part of the sanctions, Nigeria began implementing power cuts in Niger on Wednesday.