The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) gave, Sunday July 30, the new leaders in Niger, one week to give up power and restore elected leader Mohamed Bazoum deposed last week by a junta accusing him of “failing to address the security situation in the country”.
General Abdourahamane Tiani, the head of the powerful presidential guard of Bazoum has declared himself leader of the country.
Bazoum, elected in 2021, has been held since Wednesday. At an extraordinary Summit held in Abuja, Nigeria, on Sunday, African leaders of the region threatened to take action and gave Tiani one week to surrender power and to restore the deposed leader.
“In the event the authorities’ demands are not met within one week (ECOWAS will) take all measures necessary to restore constitutional order in the Republic of Niger. Such measures may include the use of force. For this effect, the Chiefs of Defense staff of ECOWAS are to meet immediately,” the bloc said in a statement after its Summit in Abuja (Nigeria) on Sunday.
In addition to the ultimatum, ECOWAS also on Saturday slapped financial sanctions on the military leaders and on the country, freezing “all commercial and financial transactions” between member States and Niger.
Bazoum, a western ally in the region reeling with terrorism, is held responsible for “the degradation of the security situation” linked to jihadist bloodshed, as well as corruption and economic woes. Thousands of people welcomed the coup. Sunday hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated in capital Niamey in support of the coup and demanded the departure of French military troops from the country and an end to other foreign interference.
Niger, one of the world’s largest uranium producers, is one of the world’s poorest nations. The country often ranks last on the UN’s Human Development Index.

Source: The North Africa Post

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