John Smith
Sun, Jul 30, 2023 11:20 PM

West African leaders to hold crisis summit on coup in Niger

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West African leaders to hold crisis summit on coup in Niger
West African leaders are set to meet for a crisis summit to discuss the recent coup in Niger. After the military detained President Mohamed Bazoum, General Abdourahamane Tiani declared himself leader. Former colonial ruler France and the EU have suspended cooperation and financial aid to Niger. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has the power to impose sanctions on Niger, which is one of its members. The crisis summit aims to approve a plan for military intervention, in collaboration with African and Western nations.

West African leaders are set to meet on Sunday for a crisis summit to address the recent coup in Niger. This comes after the military detained President Mohamed Bazoum and General Abdourahamane Tiani declared himself leader. The coup has prompted former colonial ruler France and the European Union to suspend security cooperation and financial aid to Niger.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), a 15-nation regional body, has the power to impose sanctions on Niger. As one of the world's poorest nations, Niger often ranks last on the UN's Human Development Index.

During a national television statement on Saturday evening, a member of the Niger junta, Amadou Abdramane, announced that the summit's objective was to "approve a plan of aggression against Niger, in the form of an imminent military intervention in Niamey". He also mentioned that the intervention would be carried out in collaboration with African countries that are not members of ECOWAS and certain Western nations.

Outside the national parliament in Niamey, thousands of people gathered in support of the junta, waving Russian and Niger flags. The crowd then proceeded to the French embassy, where they chanted slogans such as "long live Putin" and "down with France". The protesters were dispersed by tear gas fired by soldiers, and some attempted to storm the embassy but were unsuccessful.

The United States also witnessed demonstrations, with a number of protesters heading towards its embassy. However, the US has expressed support for ECOWAS chairman Bola Tinubu's efforts to restore constitutional order in Niger.

France condemned the attack on its embassy and warned of retaliatory action if its citizens or interests were targeted. The French presidency stated, "Should anyone attack French nationals, the army, diplomats and French interests, they will see France respond in an immediate and intractable manner."

ECOWAS leaders had previously agreed to create a regional security force aimed at combatting jihadists and preventing military coups. However, details on the force and its funding are still unclear.

With Mali and Burkina Faso, Niger's neighboring countries, having experienced military coups in recent years, the coup in Niger is seen as a response to the security situation characterized by terrorist violence, corruption, and economic challenges, as stated by Tiani.

Punitive measures against Niger have already commenced, with France suspending development aid and budgetary support. The European Union has also suspended security cooperation and aid to Niger indefinitely.

The African Union has given the military in Niger two weeks to restore "constitutional authority" and condemned the coup in the "strongest terms possible". The US, which has around 1,000 troops stationed in Niger, has voiced support for President Bazoum and warned the coup leaders that their actions could impact years of successful cooperation and millions of dollars of assistance.

Niger, a landlocked country, has faced a turbulent political history since gaining independence in 1960. It has witnessed four coups, including two against President Bazoum prior to this recent one. Despite having vast uranium deposits, Niger consistently ranks last on the UN's Human Development Index.

Source of content: OOO News 2023-07-30 News

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