Togolese Delegation Visits Niamey Following ECOWAS Exit Announcement

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In the aftermath of the announcement of Niger’s withdrawal from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), a Togolese delegation, led by Colonel Hodabalo Awaté, Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralization, arrived in Niamey on Monday. The delegation held discussions with the transitional authorities, although it remains unclear whether this discreet meeting, the details of which were not disclosed, was initiated by ECOWAS or solely by the Togolese government.

Colonel Hodabalo Awaté was received by General Salifou Mody, Niger’s Minister of Defense, during this unpublicized visit, initially reported on the Nigerien Ministry’s Facebook page, showcasing a photo of the meeting between the two high-ranking officials.

This “working visit,” occurring on the heels of Niger’s announcement of its ECOWAS exit alongside its Burkinabe and Malian neighbors, underscores the amicable relations maintained between Niger and Togo.

Last Thursday, when an ECOWAS delegation was expected in Niamey, only Togolese diplomats made the journey, while others cited “technical problems” with their plane as the reason for their absence. Niger’s Prime Minister, Lamine Zeine, characterized this explanation as “bad faith.”

Despite being a founding member of ECOWAS, with even the former President Gnassingbé Eyadema having participated in a coup, the organization holds historical significance for Togo. Researcher Niagalé Bagayoko notes that Togo has assumed the role of mediator between ECOWAS and military regimes since the 2020 coup in Mali. However, with the exit of Niger from the West African group, several observers perceive a setback in these diplomatic efforts. The situation continues to unfold amid shifting dynamics and evolving diplomatic engagements.


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