Niger (MNN) — The clock has expired for Niger’s military junta to stand down.
After seizing power and detaining Niger’s president Mohamed Bazoum, the junta got an ultimatum from the West African regional bloc: Reinstate the ousted president by Sunday, or face possible foreign military intervention.
The ultimatum deadline passed with no action from the junta. Now, it is the regional bloc’s move.
West Africa bloc leaders are meeting on Thursday to discuss a rogue Niger under junta control, and how to respond.
Amidst tensions, it doesn’t help that Niger is bordered by other countries with extremist presence.
Greg Kelley with World Mission says, “You’re talking about Mali, you’re talking about Algeria, you’re talking about Libya – places that have been real beachheads for extremism. Niger is critical where we can have eyes in those areas from a political standpoint.”
Kelley points out a destabilized West Africa with the coup in Niger opens the door to these radical groups.
“I think extremism has been a huge hindrance to the Gospel in this part of Africa, which is why Niger is so strategic. It’s literally been considered a great ally, which is why the US is really slow-walking their response to this because they don’t want to lose that relationship.”
The United States and France have threatened to cut ties with Niger, which would impact aid for the country.
Meanwhile, the Gospel is needed now more than ever in Niger. World Mission partners are still going into the country to distribute the ministry’s solar-powered audio Bibles called Treasures.
Kelley says, “From a missional standpoint, the Body of Christ needs to be aware. A country like Niger is so strategic. It’s well over 90% Muslim…. Most people living in Niger have never heard of Jesus. That’s where our eyes really need to be locked in.”
Pray for the Gospel to bring hope. Ask God to restore peace to Niger rooted in justice and wisdom.
Header photo depicts sunset over the Niger River. (Photo courtesy of Mathieu Dessus/Flickr: https://rb.gy/h8e5l)