ECOWAS Urges Restoration of Constitutional Order in Niger, Imposes Sanctions on Regime Following Coup Attempt

By Amin Kef (Ranger)
In an Extraordinary Session convened at the ECOWAS headquarters in Abuja on July 30, 2023, regional leaders led by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu addressed the recent coup attempt in Niger. The ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government reaffirmed its commitment to defending democracy and ensuring the continuity of democratic governance in the sub-region.
During the summit, President Tinubu condemned the political situation in Niger and garnered support from US Vice President Kamala Harris and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. The international community backed ECOWAS’s stance on restoring constitutional order in Niger.
The ECOWAS leaders extensively discussed the attempted overthrow of the constitutional order and the illegal detention of President Mohamed Bazoum and his government officials. In the Final Communique, they emphasized zero tolerance for unconstitutional changes of government and reaffirmed President Bazoum’s legitimacy as the elected President of Niger, recognized by ECOWAS, the African Union, and the international community.
The Summit strongly condemned the coup attempt and called for the immediate release and reinstatement of President Bazoum, along with the full restoration of constitutional order in Niger. ECOWAS leaders held the perpetrators responsible for the safety and security of the President and his associates.
If the demands are not met within one week, ECOWAS leaders vowed to take all necessary measures, including the use of force, to restore constitutional order in Niger. The Chiefs of defense staff of ECOWAS were instructed to convene immediately for this purpose.
To further pressure Niger, ECOWAS imposed several sanctions, including the closure of land and air borders between ECOWAS countries and Niger, the establishment of a no-fly zone, and the suspension of all commercial and financial transactions between ECOWAS Member States and Niger. The assets of the Republic of Niger in ECOWAS Central Banks and assets of the Niger State and its Enterprises and Parastatals in Commercial Banks were frozen. Niger was also suspended from all financial assistance and transactions with all financial institutions, particularly, EBID and BOAD.
Military officials involved in the coup attempt, along with their family members and civilian collaborators, faced travel bans and asset freezes. ECOWAS called on WAEMU and other regional bodies to implement these decisions.
Appreciating President Tinubu’s leadership, the Summit appointed a special representative to deliver the demands to Niger immediately.
As the situation in Niger remains tense, the international community closely watches the actions taken by ECOWAS to restore stability and uphold democratic principles in the region.


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