General Abdourahamane Tchiani, leader of the Niger junta, has criticised sanctions imposed by the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS), saying they were unjustified.
He stated this in a televised broadcast on Saturday night.
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Tchiani demanded restoration of electricity cut off by the Federal Government as part of the embargoes slammed on the coupists following the overthrow of President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26.
He spoke after meeting with a delegation of ECOWAS led by the former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd).
He said the regional bloc’s economic sanctions were unnecessary, adding that they were aimed at punishing the “good people” of Niger.
According to him, children and other patients were dying in hospitals because of lack of electricity.
He said border closures make access to food, drugs and other essentials very difficult.
Daily Trust reports that following the military takeover in Niger Republic, ECOWAS issued a seven-day ultimatum to the junta to reinstate the ousted President Bazoum.
Despite pressures from the organisation and other countries, the military leaders in the country have refused to reinstate Bazoum.
In his 12-minute speech, Tchiani claimed ECOWAS was “getting ready to attack Niger by setting up an occupying army in collaboration with a foreign army.
“I reaffirm here that our ambition is not to confiscate power. I also reaffirm our readiness to engage in any dialogue, as long as it takes into account the orientations desired by the proud and resilient people of Niger,” he added.