West African gov’ts give Niger coup leaders a week to cede power | News

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West African nations have imposed sanctions on Niger’s new army leaders, threatening to make use of drive in the event that they fail to reinstate ousted President Mohamed Bazoum inside per week, after the newest coup within the Sahel area raised alarm on the continent.

Within the third coup in as a few years to topple a frontrunner within the Sahel, Niger’s elected president and Western ally, Bazoum, has been held by the army since Wednesday.

Normal Abdourahmane Tiani, the top of the highly effective presidential guard, has declared himself chief.

Bazoum is one among a dwindling group of elected presidents and pro-Western leaders within the Sahel, the place since 2020 an armed rebellion has triggered coups in Mali and Burkina Faso.

Former colonial ruler France and the European Union have suspended safety cooperation and monetary assist to Niger following the coup, whereas the USA warned that its assist is also at stake.

At an emergency summit in Nigeria, the 15-nation Financial Neighborhood of West African States (ECOWAS) regional bloc demanded on Sunday that Bazoum be reinstated inside per week.

In any other case, the bloc stated it could take “all measures” to revive constitutional order.

“Such measures might embody using drive for this impact,” it stated in a press release, including that ECOWAS defence chiefs have been to satisfy afterward Sunday.

It was not instantly clear how ECOWAS may use drive. Final yr, the bloc agreed to create a regional safety drive to intervene in opposition to armed group members and forestall army coups, however particulars on the drive and its funding have been nonetheless unclear.

The bloc additionally slapped monetary sanctions on the coup leaders and the nation, freezing “all industrial and monetary transactions” between member states and Niger, one of many world’s poorest nations, usually rating final on the United Nations’ Human Growth Index.

In a press release learn out on nationwide tv on Saturday night, Niger army authorities member Amadou Abdramane stated the summit’s goal was to “approve a plan of aggression in opposition to Niger, within the type of an imminent army intervention in Niamey”.

The intervention can be “in cooperation with African nations who aren’t members of the regional physique and sure Western nations”, he added.

The president of Chad, Normal Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno, was within the Nigerien capital, Niamey, on Sunday as a part of an try to assist resolve the disaster, Chad authorities spokesman Aziz Mahamat Saleh instructed the AFP information company. He stated the journey was on the initiative of Chad.

Coup supporters rally

Elsewhere within the capital, 1000’s of individuals waving Russian and Niger flags rallied exterior the nationwide parliament in a present of assist for the army rulers.

They then moved on to the French embassy, shouting “lengthy reside Putin” and “down with France”. Some tried to storm the embassy however have been dispersed with tear gasoline.

A soldier standing in a pick-up truck waved to the gang, shouting “Russia, Russia, Russia!”, “lengthy reside Niger’s military!” and “Tiani, Tiani, Tiani!”.  The demonstration was additionally supposed to ship a warning to ECOWAS to not intervene within the nation.

Some demonstrators headed for the embassy of the US.

France condemned the assault on its embassy, warning it could retaliate if its residents or pursuits have been attacked, and stated it could assist all regional initiatives to revive order in Niger.

“Ought to anybody assault French nationals, the military, diplomats and French pursuits, they’ll see France reply in a right away and intractable method,” the French presidency stated.

Niger’s neighbours Mali and Burkina Faso, additionally former French colonies, have additionally skilled army coups since 2020, fuelled by anger on the civilian authorities’ failure to quash armed teams linked to ISIL and al-Qaeda.

Tiani stated the putsch in Niger was a response to “the degradation of the safety scenario” linked to armed bloodshed, in addition to corruption and financial woes.

Supporters wave Nigerien's flags as they rally in support of Niger's junta
Niger’s army authorities says ECOWAS may stage an imminent armed intervention within the capital Niamey because the regional physique meets for an ‘extraordinary summit’ on the coup-hit nation, with sanctions a risk [File: AFP]

Turbulent political historical past

After a wave of condemnation for the coup, punitive measures have already begun within the West.

France – which has 1,500 troopers in Niger – stated on Saturday that it was suspending growth assist and budgetary assist to the West African nation.

It known as for “a right away return to constitutional order” and Bazoum’s reinstatement.

European Union diplomatic chief Josep Borrell introduced the indefinite suspension of safety cooperation with Niger with instant impact, in addition to budgetary assist.

Borrell stated the EU was able to assist future selections taken by ECOWAS, “together with the adoption of sanctions”.

The US – which has about 1,000 troops in Niger – has supplied Bazoum Washington’s steadfast assist and warned these detaining him that they have been “threatening years of profitable cooperation and a whole lot of thousands and thousands of {dollars} of help”.

And the African Union has given the army in Niger two weeks to revive “constitutional authority”.

It condemned the coup in “the strongest phrases potential” and expressed deep concern over the “alarming resurgence” of army overthrows in Africa.

Landlocked Niger usually ranks final within the UN’s Human Growth Index, regardless of having huge deposits of uranium.

It has had a turbulent political historical past since gaining independence in 1960, with 4 coups in addition to quite a few different makes an attempt – together with two beforehand in opposition to Bazoum.

 

 

 

 

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