Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has urged for the safeguarding of civilians in Niger, a country where a military intervention resulted in the removal of President Mohamed Bazoum last month.
“To our Nigerien brothers, do not harm any civilian on Niger’s territories,” Tabboune said in statements during a TV interview late Saturday.
“Do not touch any citizen who lives there, neither Nigerien nor foreigner,” the Algerian leader said. “Protect people, regardless of their nationality. Don’t allow those who want to crush you to intervene in your internal affairs.”
Niger was plunged into turmoil on July 26 when Gen. Abdourahamane Tchiani, a former commander of the presidential guard, led a military intervention that overthrew Bazoum.
Bazoum was elected in 2021 in Niger’s first democratic power transition since it gained independence from French colonial rule in 1960.
Algeria opposes any military intervention in Niger and has campaigned against any military action in the West African country.
“A military intervention could ignite the whole Sahel region and Algeria will not use force with its neighbors,” Tabboune said.
Algerian Foreign Minister Ahmed Attaf visited Nigeria, Ghana and Benin, members of the Economic Community of Western African States (ECOWAS), this week to discuss a peaceful solution to the conflict in Niger.
The bloc had earlier ordered the activation of its standby force on Aug. 10 to restore constitutional order in Niger.
“Within ECOWAS, as in Algeria, we are working along the same lines, coordinating our efforts as much as possible to achieve a common objective, which is the restoration of constitutional order in Niger,” Attaf said.
For Algeria, the minister said, the use of force “has always been a source of complication and not a solution.”