China offers to mediate Niger crisis, commits to non-interference

China offers to mediate Niger crisis, commits to non-interference

CHINA has declared its intention to mediate and assist in resolving the ongoing political crisis in Niger.

This move follows a coup in July, which led to international sanctions and concerns of military intervention.

Jiang Feng, the Chinese Ambassador to Niamey, stated during a meeting with Niger’s military-appointed Prime Minister, Ali Lamine Zeine, that China aims to act as a mediator while respecting the sovereignty and interests of the nations involved in the crisis.

He underscored China’s adherence to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries.

It can be noted that China has shown its role as a mediator after successfully forging a peace deal between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Meanwhile, Niger’s military government has been under increasing pressure from the international community, particularly the Economic Community of West African States or ECOWAS, to restore constitutional order.

ECOWAS has not ruled out the possibility of using force as a last resort if diplomatic efforts fail.

Meanwhile, Algeria proposed a six-month transitional plan to restore democracy in Niger, which was met with skepticism by ECOWAS due to its perceived lengthy timeline.

Several Western countries, including the United States, France, the Netherlands, and Germany, have suspended foreign assistance projects in Niger in response to the coup.

In contrast, China has expressed its commitment to continuing projects aligned with Nigerien authorities’ interests.

China has been a significant partner for Niger in various sectors, including energy, oil, and infrastructure, and both countries are jointly involved in a substantial 2,000-kilometer oil export pipeline project aimed at transporting crude oil from southern Niger to the port of Seme in Benin.

The Nigerien Military had revoked deals that allowed French troops to operate in their country, which means that they now view the stay of French forces as illegal.

France had already withdrawn their troops from Burkina Faso earlier this year after the country’s military rulers asked them to leave.

It has also pulled its forces out of Mali following tensions with the military government following a coup in 2020.

The Nigerian military has also ordered the immediate expulsion of French Ambassador Sylvain Itte.

The junta enjoys the support of the masses, with thousands gathering in front of the French Embassy and, demanding an Army base in Niamey for them to leave Niger.

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