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Senegal President Abdoulaye Wade said he was heading to Niger this weekend to help defuse a political crisis after soldiers staged a coup Thursday in the uranium-rich African nation.

Mr. Wade was appointed as mediator in Niger’s political crisis on Tuesday by the Economic Community of West African States, or ECOWAS. The Senegal president said he had decided to accelerate the pace of his intervention in Niger after the overthrow of Niger President Mamadou Tandja.

“We need to act fast,” Mr. Wade said from Dakar, in a telephone interview.

“I am confident that soldiers will agree to return to their barracks,” Mr. Wade said. Mr. Wade said he hoped to reach Niamey, the Niger capital, on Saturday. WSJ

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