I am following with concern what is happening in Niger. I join the Bishops’ appeal in favor of peace in the country and for stability in the Sahel region. I accompany with my prayers the efforts of the international community to find a peaceful solution as soon as possible for everyone’s benefit. Let us pray for the dear people of Niger.
And let us also pray for peace for all populations wounded by war and violence. Let us especially pray for Ukraine, which has been suffering for some time.
This was Pope Francis’ appeal after praying the midday Angelus this August 20.
Niger is being ruled by a military junta, which overthrew the president in late July in a coup.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has responded with sanctions and even the threat of military intervention if the junta doesn’t stand down.
However on Saturday, General Abdourahamane Tchiani, who ousted President Mohamed Bazoum, said he plans a gradual return to democracy within three years.
The region’s Catholic bishops released a statement opposing any military intervention in Niger, saying it would only worsen the situation. Read more here.