Algeria proposes transition to resolve Niger crisis

Algeria is proposing an initiative to resolve the political crisis in neighboring Niger with a six-month transition period led by a civilian, Foreign Minister Ahmed Attaf said on Tuesday.

Attaf, who recently toured West African states, said “most of the countries we have talked to are against military intervention to end the crisis”.

West African army chiefs from the regional ECOWAS bloc met in Ghana last week to discuss a possible military intervention in Niger after members of its presidential guard seized power last month and established a junta.

Algerian officials have spoken three times since the coup to the Niger military leader, who wants a transitional period of up to three years, Attaf said.

Algeria has repeatedly said it was against military intervention, pointing to the chaos that followed NATO action in Libya in 2011 during its uprising against longtime leader Moammar al-Gaddafi.

Last week Algerian state television said President Abdelmadjid Tebboune had denied permission to France for a possible military operation in Niger, but France denied it had sought any such permission.

As part of its initiative, Algeria would seek a United Nations conference to restore constitutional order, propose guarantees for all sides in the crisis and host a conference on development in the Sahel region, it said without elaborating.

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