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Algeria refuses French request to use its airspace for Niger

Algeria has refused a French request to fly over its airspace for a military operation in Niger, state radio said late on Monday, after a July 26 coup in the West African nation that lies south of the Algerian border, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

Algeria opposes any foreign military action in Niger and favors diplomacy to restore constitutional order, state radio said.

France has about 1,500 troops in Niger that were stationed there before last month’s coup. It is not clear what military operation Algeria was referring to, but France has not said it would intervene militarily to overturn the military takeover.

It was reported over the weekend that negotiations between the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and Niger’s junta to reinstate Niger’s ousted president Mohamed Bazoum to power had failed.

Meanwhile, West Africa’s main bloc agreed on a “D-day” for possible military intervention to reinstate Bazoum.

The ECOWAS agreed on Friday to activate a standby force as a last resort if diplomatic efforts fail, a senior official told the media.

Military officers deposed Bazoum on July 26 and have defied calls from the United Nations, ECOWAS and others to reinstate him.


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