The West African regional bloc, ECOWAS has said the proposed timeline for a return to constitutional rule by Niger’s coup leaders is unacceptable.
The head of the Niger military junta, Gen Abdourahamane Tchiani had said last weekend that he would return the country to civilian rule within three years.
Tchiani had met mediators from the regional bloc, ECOWAS in the capital, Niamey, as part of efforts to resolve the crisis.
That was the first meeting between the junta and ECOWAS mediators following the meeting in Accra, by military chiefs from the sub-region.
Ecowas had threatened military action to re-instate ousted President Mohamed Bazoum if the junta refused peaceful resolution.
Tchiani said a speech televised on TV that Niger did not want a war but won’t let go defending itself against any foreign intervention.
He also said a national dialogue was needed to lay the foundations for a new political order in Niger.
ECOWAS’ political commissioner, Abdel-Fatau Musa however has said the timetable by the military won’t work, as he asserts only a return to civilian rule as soon as possible is acceptable.
On Saturday, thousands of men came to a stadium in Niamey to register for a volunteer force should ECOWAS invade.
Hundreds of them also gathered in Niamey for a rally on Sunday to show their support for the military junta once again.
Meanwhile the ECOWAS mediators were able to meet ousted President Bazoum after holding talks with the junta leader.
The delegation included Nigeria’s former military leader Abdulsalami Abubakar and ECOWAS commission President Omar Touray.