The military detained the former president of Niger last week, and this is the first time he has been seen since.

Mohamed Bazoum visited Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno, the president of Chad, in Niamey, the capital of Niger.

After West African leaders granted the Niger military seven days to cede power, Mr. Déby, who also met with the coup leaders, is leading mediation efforts.

The military coup claimed that the outgoing administration gave the order for France to launch an attack in an effort to release Mr. Bazoum.

The commander of the presidential guards, Gen. Abdourahmane Tchiani, proclaimed himself the new president of Niger on Friday.

Mr. Déby stated that the goal of his mediation effort was to find a “peaceful solution to the crisis which is shaking” Chad’s neighbor Niger.

He didn’t provide any information, but his office published a picture of him seated next to a beaming Mr. Bazoum.

After his father was slain in a conflict with rebel forces in 2021, Mr. Déby was given the position of power by the army.

Leaders of the West African regional organization, Ecowas, dispatched him to Niger. They gave the junta one week on Sunday to free the elected president, who had been imprisoned in Niamey’s presidential palace.

The regional bloc would “take all measures necessary to restore constitutional order” if its demands were not met. “Such measures may include the use of force,” a statement added.

The junta has not commented on the demands, but it has vowed to defend Niger from any “aggression” by regional or Western powers. It has accused former colonial power France of planning military intervention.

On Monday, Col Amadou Abdramane, one of the coup leaders, said the toppled government had authorised France, Niger’s former colonial power, to attack the presidential palace to try to free Mr Bazoum.

France did not confirm or deny the claim. In a statement quoted by Reuters news agency, the French foreign ministry said the only authority it recognised in Niger was President Bazoum’s.

By gvoice

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