Niger Coup Leaders Adamant, Dares ECOWAS Economic, Military Threats

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The Coup Leaders in Niger Republic has dared African Heads of States under the auspices of the Economic Community Of West African States, ECOWAS, as inside sources said they are preparing and stratigizing to fend off any ECOWAS external agression.

The Juntas had called on its citizens in a televised statement on Saturday night, July 29,2023, especially residents in capital Niamey, to come out into the streets Sunday from 7 a.m. local time (8 a.m. CET) and demonstrate against ECOWAS to show support for the new military leadership .

The Juntas also issued a warning about “the consequences that will flow from any foreign military intervention,” saying, “Certain dignitaries…are in thinking of confrontation,” which “will end in nothing but the massacre of the Nigerien population and chaos.”  

West African leaders met in the Nigerian capital Abuja on Sunday July 30, for an emergency summit on Niger, where a military coup took place Wednesday last week.

In a communique  issued on Sunday, a seven-day ultimatum was given to the Nigerien military Juntas to restore constitutional order and reinstate ousted President Muhammed Bazoum into office.

Besides asking the Juntas to restore constitutional Order, the ECOWAS authority insisted on Bazoum as the legitimate President of the landlocked  and one of the world’s poorest countries.

They also imposed land and border closures, suspending all commercial flights between Niger and ECOWAS member states.

Announcing the decision, President of the ECOWAS Commission, Omar Touray, said all Chiefs of Defense Staff of the member states will proceed for an emergency meeting to strategise on effective ways to implement a possible military operation to restore Bazoum to office.

He said the ECOWAS will “Take all measures necessary to restore constitutional order in the Republic of Niger.

“Such measures may include the use of force.

“To this effect, the Chiefs of Defense staff of ECOWAS are to meet immediately.”

On  economic sanctions, Touray said ECOWAS has approved the “Suspension of all commercial and financial transactions between ECOWAS Member States and Niger. Freeze all service transactions including energy transactions.

“Freeze assets of the Republic of Niger in Aqua Central Bank. Freeze of assets of the Niger State and the state enterprises and parastatals in commercial banks.

“Suspension of measure from all financial assistance and transactions with all financial institutions, particularly EBID.”

The heads of state of the 15-nation  ECOWAS stood by the resolution to suspend Niger from its institutions, cut off the country from the regional central bank and financial market, and close borders. 

Their resolutions is coming on the heels of similar decisions by France and the European Union,EU , that had already suspended financial aid and security cooperation with Niger. This is even as the United States Of America,USA, says it will follow suit.

It would recalled that General Abdourahamane Tchiani, the head of the powerful presidential guard since 2011, declared himself the leader of Niger on Friday as the country’s elected president Mohamed Bazoum ,has been held by the military for four days.

Tchiani said Wednesday’s coup is the military’s response to “the degradation of the security situation” linked to jihadist bloodshed.

According to the World Bank report, Niger receives nearly $2 billion (€1.8 billion) a year in official development assistance.

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