Algeria foreign affairs minister on W.Africa tour to discuss Niger crisis

Wednesday August 23 2023

Algerian Foreign Minister Ahmed Attaf. PHOTO | SAUL LOEB | AFP


Algeria's top diplomat began a tour of West African countries Wednesday in a bid to find a solution following the coup in neighbouring Niger, where Algiers opposes any military intervention.

"Foreign Minister Ahmed Attaf was mandated by President Abdelmadjid Tebboune to go on a diplomatic tour to Nigeria, Benin and Ghana," the Algerian foreign ministry said on X, formerly known as Twitter.

He is set to hold consultations on the crisis in Niger and ways of dealing with it with his counterparts in the West African countries, which form part of the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas).

Read: Ecowas rejects Niger's 3-year transition plan

The West African bloc has threatened to use force to reinstate Niger's elected president, Mohamed Bazoum, who was detained by guards on July 26.

Algeria, which shares a 1,000-kilometre (600-mile) long land border with Niger, has previously cautioned against a military solution, which Tebboune said would be "a direct threat" to his North African country.


"There will be no solution without us (Algeria). We are the first people affected," he stressed.

The African Union suspended Niger on Tuesday until civilian rule is restored and said it would assess the implications of any armed intervention.

Read: AU goes slow on military intervention in Niger

Algeria -- Africa's largest country -- also shares borders with Libya and Mali, both in the throes of years-long conflicts.

Niger is the fourth nation in West Africa since 2020 to suffer a coup, following Burkina Faso, Guinea and Mali.

The juntas in Burkina Faso and Mali have said that any military intervention in their neighbour would be considered a "declaration of war" against their countries.