Niger's former president Mahamadou Issoufou has warned the West African bloc, ECOWAS, against its plan for a military intervention to reverse the country's coup and reinstate his successor.
In rare public comments on the coup crisis, Issoufou said such an intervention "will be a source of lasting instability" in the country.
Rebel elite soldiers overthrew President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26 and have since detained him at home with his family.
ECOWAS leaders said they have to act after Niger became the fourth West African nation since 2020 to suffer a coup, following Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea.
The bloc warned that it could intervene militarily if diplomatic efforts to return Bazoum to power fail.
"Such intervention has never been a factor of progress for any people anywhere. I am sure that the ECOWAS heads of state will draw on their immense wisdom not to make such a mistake," former president Issoufou said in a post on X, previously known as Twitter.
Negotiations to restore civilian rule have yet to bear fruit, with the junta demanding a three-year transition and ECOWAS calling for the immediate return of the democratically elected Bazoum.