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July 17, 2024
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ECOWAS imposes more sanctions on Niger, others

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has imposed new sanctions in response to the coup in the Republic of Niger.

It has also imposed heavier financial sanctions on entities supporting them including the governments of Mali and Burkina Faso.

The development came after diplomatic effort by the African Union, ECOWAS, United Nations, and the United States to resolve Niger’s political impasse faced a setback on Tuesday as the military junta declined to meet with the delegations.

The military leaders also rejected an attempt by Acting US Deputy Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland, to meet with coup leader Gen. Abdourahmane Tchiani and ousted President Muhammed Bazoum, who was being detained in the presidential palace.

The Presidential spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, addressing State House correspondents on Tuesday said more sanctions had been imposed on the individuals and entities relating with the military junta in the Niger Republic.

Although he did not go into details, he said this was carried out through the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“I can also report that following the expiration of the deadline of the ultimatum and standing on the pre-existing consensus position of financial sanctions meted out on the military junta in Niger Republic by the bloc of ECOWAS Heads of State, President Bola Tinubu has ordered an additional slew of financial sanctions through the Central Bank of Nigeria on entities and individuals related to or involved with the military junta in Niger Republic.

“The ECOWAS mandate and ultimatum is not a Nigerian ultimatum. It is not a Nigerian mandate and the office of the President, also serving as the chairman of ECOWAS, seeks to emphasise this point that due to certain domestic and international media coverage, tending toward personalisation of the ECOWAS sub-regional position to his person and our nation individually.

“It is because of this that Mr President has deemed it necessary to state unequivocally that the mandate and ultimatum issued by ECOWAS is that of ECOWAS position. While President Bola Tinubu has assumed the ECOWAS chairmanship, the position of ECOWAS conveys the consensus position of member Heads of State. And a coup will not occur in one’s backyard, without one being particularly aware of it.

“The regional bloc is made up of all sub-regional ethnic groups, religious groups, and all other forms of human diversity. And the response of ECOWAS, therefore, represents all of these groups, and not any of these groups individually,” he said.

Recall that the regional bloc had earlier given Niger junta seven days to reinstate President Mohamed Bazoum or risk sanctions, including possible military action.

But the coupists called the bluff of ECOWAS and vowed to resist any foreign intervention on its soil.

It also severed ties with Nigeria, Togo, France and the US, and shut down Nigerien airspace indefinitely.

The bloc scheduled a meeting for Thursday to review the situation in the West African nation.

 

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