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FLASH: ECOWAS, Niger’s Junta Begin Talks 



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The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Niger’s military junta will begin talks this week.

Sources said a date would be fixed after the Nigeria’s Islamic scholars, led by Sheik Bala Lau, Chairman of Jam’atul Izalatu Bida Waikamatu Sunnah, who met with the junta in Niamey, Niger’s capital, on Saturday brief President Bola Tinubu.

The ulamas, according to sources at the Presidency, will brief Tinubu today.

One of the sources said ECOWAS welcomed the readiness of the Niger’s military rulers for dialogue.

The leader of the junta, General Abdourahmane Tchiani, had, at a meeting with the Nigeria’s Islamic clerics, reportedly expressed readiness for dialogue.

A source said President Tinubu “is keen to see progress being made.”

“ECOWAS leaders, in the communiqué after their last meeting, said they are committed to ensuring peaceful end to this problem. So, it is not about the Nigerian Presidency. So, dialogue is welcome. Dialogue was part of the resolutions reached in the last meeting, even when they said standby force should be activated, still they maintained that they were still committed to peaceful resolution of the issue,” the source said.

Nigerian Islamic clerics after their meeting with Niger’s military leader, General Abdourahmane Tchiani, in Niger at the weekend

“I’m not sure when the ulamas are briefing the president, maybe tomorrow (today) because they came back either this morning or last night…But I know if they are not holding a meeting today (yesterday), then definitely they will be seeing him (the president) tomorrow (today)”, the official said.

Another source said the window of dialogue, which ECOWAS leaders had approved, would be activated as soon as the clerics briefed Tinubu and the process would commence immediately.

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