Niamey: France would back efforts by the West African regional body ECOWAS to derail the Niger military coup, the French Foreign Ministry said on Saturday, reported Al Jazeera.

On Saturday, French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna met in Paris with Niger Prime Minister Ouhoumoudou Mahamadou and the Niger ambassador, according to Al Jazeera.

Earlier, Colonna stated that the coup leaders in Niamey had until Sunday to hand over control or face a military intervention by member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)

Niger Prime Minister Ouhoumoudou Mahamadou, who has been stuck outside the country since last week's coup, appealed to the international community on Tuesday for assistance in restoring democracy in his country.

“The threat is credible,” she said on French public radio, according to Al Jazeera.

ECOWAS' military commanders decided on a plan for a possible intervention in Niger on Friday.

The United States on Monday also extended support to the leadership of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to defend constitutional order in Niger.

This comes as the Niger military has been holding Mohamed Bazoum, the elected president since Wednesday in the third attempt to depose a Sahelian leader in as many years.

“The United States welcomes and commends the strong leadership of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Heads of State and Government to defend constitutional order in Niger, actions that respect the will of the Nigerien people and align with enshrined ECOWAS and African Union principles of zero tolerance for unconstitutional change,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a US State Department statement.

The US further called for the immediate release of President Mohamed Bazoum and his family and the restoration of all state functions to the legitimate, democratically-elected government.