The African Union (AU) has announced a suspension of Niger from all its activities over last month’s military coup.
The presidential guard there detained the president Mohamed Bazoum and subsequently announced that he had been deposed.
The junta’s actions have been widely condemned by the international community although there is significant support from some citizens.
The AU has now asked its members to avoid any action that might legitimise the Niger junta.
The west African regional body, ECOWAS has already suspended Niger and imposed sanctions.
It also threatened military intervention if the junta refused diplomatic resolution to the crisis.
The AU Peace and Security Council said in a communique on Tuesday that it had noted ECOWAS’ decision to activate a standby force and asked the AU Commission to assess the economic, social, and security implications of deploying such a force.
It also asked the AU Commission to compile a list of members of the military junta and their supporters for targeted sanctions.
Both the African Union and ECOWAS have all also asked the military leaders to release president Bazoum and restore constitutional order.
The coup leaders met ECOWAS mediators over the weekend and promised to return to constitutional rule in three years.
ECOWAS has rejected that describing it as unacceptable, but is yet to announced its next line of action.
ECOWAS mediator Abdulsalami Abubakar, who is a former military leader of Nigeria, told journalist on Tuesday that the Niger visit had been ‘very fruitful’.
“Nobody wants to go to war,” he told reporters in Abuja after briefing Nigerian President Bola Tinubu, the chair of ECOWAS.
“We started talking. They (the junta) have made their own points. We’ll get somewhere hopefully,” he said, without giving further details.