Rebels running Niger asked Guinea during a trip to its capital Conakry to bolster support for their country as it tracks toward a conflict with the West African regional bloc, media reported Sunday.
Niger’s chief negotiator Moussa Salau Barma thanked the Guinean government for its assistance and urged it to increase support in light of the challenges faced by the putschists, Guinean broadcaster RTG reported.
Guinea was the first country to back the Nigerien military after it toppled French-backed President Mohamed Bazoum in late July and appointed a transitional government.
Leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) agreed at a summit on Thursday to deploy a military force to Niger after the seven-day deadline for the rebels to reinstate Bazoum as president expired last weekend.
A military takeover occured in Niger on July 26. President Mohamed Bazoum was ousted and detained by his own guard, led by Tchiani. The caretaker National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland closed the country’s borders, ignoring security agreements with France, its former colonizer.
Following the takeover, ECOWAS suspended all financial aid to Niger, froze rebels’ assets and imposed a ban on commercial flights to and from the country, as well as closed all borders.
The organization also gave the military leaders one week to reinstate Bazoum and restore order, hinting that it would resort to military intervention otherwise. Its ultimatum expired this past Sunday. On Thursday, the organization, after a second emergency summit, announced the activation of a multinational standby force to restore constitutional order in Niger. France and the United States have expressed support for ECOWAS’ decision.