Niger Junta Announces New Cabinet

Niger’s military junta has appointed 21 ministers that will form a cabinet to work with the transitional Prime Minister, Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine.

The coupists made this known in a televised broadcast on Wednesday night, despite pressure from foreign countries that the ousted President Mohamed Bazoum should be reinstated.

Mahamane Roufai Laouali, cited as the Secretary-General of the Government read out the names of 21 ministers without detailing further plans.

Laouali named three among the junta leaders to be included in the cabinet as ministers of defence, interior, and sports.

Recall that on Tuesday, the military junta appointed Zeine, Niger’s foremost economist and official of the African Development Bank as the prime minister to head the government.

The formation of the new government was announced even as the leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) prepare to reconvene in Abuja to discuss the crisis in the landlocked West African nation on Thursday.

ECOWAS had given the junta a seven-day ultimatum to reinstate ousted Bazoum or risk intervention of whatever form.

The regional bloc is currently meeting in Abuja to chat a way forward.

Meanwhile, peace moves are being considered through highly respected religious figures.

On Wednesday, the 14th Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi, met with the military leaders in Niger Republic.

The former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria met the military leadership after the junta aborted a meeting with representatives of the African Union, ECOWAS and a top American diplomat.

A delegation raised by ECOWAS could not broker peace with the military rulers as they declined a meeting.

Sanusi, who is the Khalifa of the sect in Nigeria, met the Junta leaders in company of the Sultan of Damagaran. Damagaran is the third largest city in the Republic of Niger.

Sources told Daily Trust that Sanusi went there to open the door for negotiation with the junta.

One of the sources said: “His Highness took the trip in his personal capacity but with the knowledge of President Bola Tinubu following his concerns about the impasse and the likely consequences it is already having on Nigeria/Niger relations and the citizens of the two countries.”



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