Pope Francis has urged a diplomatic solution to a political crisis in Niger, sparked by a coup that threatens stability in the region.
He made the plea on Sunday while addressing the faithful in St. Peter’s Square after his Angelus prayer.
“I am following with concern what is happening in Niger, and join the bishops’ call in favour of peace in the country and stability in the Sahel.
“I join with prayer the efforts of the international community to find a peaceful solution as soon as possible for the good of everyone,” said the 86-year-old.
Last month, army forces deposed President Mohamed Bazoum, making Niger the fourth West African country to face a coup since 2020.
Meanwhile, Niger’s new military ruler declared on Saturday that a power transition would take no more than three years and that any attack on the country would be difficult for those engaged.
In a televised address, General Abdourahamane Tiani said, “Our ambition is not to confiscate power. Any transition of power “would not go beyond three years”.
But he added: “If an attack were to be undertaken against us, it would not be the walk in the park some people seem to think.”
He also said, “ECOWAS is getting ready to attack Niger by setting up an occupying army in collaboration with a foreign army,” without saying which country he meant.