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Pope Francis calls for peaceful end to the Niger crisis

Vatican City
AP

Pope Francis expressed hope Sunday for a peaceful solution to the crisis in Niger following the military coup in the West African nation.

Nuns look at Pope Francis as he recites the Angelus noon prayer from the window of his studio overlooking St Peter's Square, at the Vatican, on Sunday, 20th August, 2023.

Nuns look at Pope Francis as he recites the Angelus noon prayer from the window of his studio overlooking St Peter’s Square, at the Vatican, on Sunday, 20th August, 2023. PICTURE: AP Photo/Andrew Medichini.

The pontiff told the faithful in St. Peter’s Square that he is following events with concern, joining an appeal “for peace in the country and stability in the Sahel region.” He called on the international community “to find a peaceful solution as soon as possible, for the good of all.”

Mutinous soldiers overthrew Niger’s democratically elected president last month, and have quickly entrenched themselves in power, rebuffing most dialogue efforts. President Mohamed Bazoum, his wife and son have been kept under house arrest in the capital.

Talks this weekend between Niger’s new military regime and a delegation from the West African regional bloc, ECOWAS, have reportedly yielded little progress.

 

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