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The head of the junta in Niger Republic, Gen. Abdourahamane Tchiani, yesterday signed two decrees authorizing Burkina Faso and Mali to intervene militarily on Nigeriene territory should the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) make good its threat to move in troops to restore democracy. It also expelled the ambassadors of Nigeria, Germany and France and told them to leave Niamey within 48 hours.

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The head of the junta in Niger Republic, Gen. Abdourahamane Tchiani, yesterday signed two decrees authorizing Burkina Faso and Mali to intervene militarily on Nigeriene territory should the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) make good its threat to move in  troops to restore democracy.

It also expelled the ambassadors of Nigeria, Germany and France and told them to leave Niamey within 48 hours

ECOWAS warned the junta yesterday that it was not too late for the puschists to reconsider their action.

It  declared that contrary to insinuations in some quarters, its own planned restoration of democracy in Niamey is not  at the prompting of foreign powers.

The US yesterday began the evacuation of its citizens from Niger  ahead of a visit by the US Deputy Secretary of State, Molly Phee, to  Nigeria, Chad and Ghana  over the impasse.

The foreign ministers of Niger,,Burkina Faso and Mali announced their military alliance through a joint communiqué.

The accord allows Mali and Burkina Faso to provide military assistance to Niger in the event of military intervention against the putschists there.

It also called  for the three countries to take joint action against terrorist groups active in their countries and secure their borders.Oaugadougou and Bamako sent Super Tucano jets to Niamey last week in a show of solidarity.

Niger Republic’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation in separate letters to the three envoys asked them to  depart Niamey by tomorrow.

In the case of Nigeria,the junta said it was “in reaction to Nigerian Ambassador Mohamed Usman’s refusal to reply to an invitation by the ministry for a discussion on Friday August 25 at 11.30 a.m., and due to other actions of the Nigerian government contrary to Niger’s interests.”

It accused the German ambassador, Olivier Schnakenberg, and the French ambassador Sylvain Itte of refusing to honour  similar invitations for discussion.

Nigeria is in the forefront of ECOWAS insistence on the exit of the military from power and the restoration of ousted President Mohammed Bazoum.