West African bloc imposes sanctions on Niger military leaders after coup

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The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), a regional group of 15 countries, agreed to impose sanctions on Niger's military leaders involved in a recent coup at an emergency meeting held here on Sunday, reported Xinhua.

Nigerian President Bola Tinubu, also chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the ECOWAS, denounced the coup, saying the regional bloc "rejects coup and interruption to constitutional order."

"As African leaders, it is our responsibility to foster stability and progress," Tinubu said, noting that the ECOWAS advocates collaborative efforts to ward off coup on the African continent.

The regional bloc said in a statement that the military junta in Niger must cede power in a week and immediately release and reinstate the country's elected president, Mohamed Bazoum, or the ECOWAS will take all necessary measures necessary to restore constitutional order in Niger, including the use of force.

ECOWAS leaders agreed to impose financial and travel sanctions on Niger's military leaders involved in the coup, and also a no-fly zone over the country. They also decided to freeze Niger's assets in the central and commercial banks of the ECOWAS countries.

Niger's Defense and Security Forces said late Wednesday that soldiers in the country had overthrown Bazoum, hours after the president was allegedly held hostage.

Two days later, General Abdourahamane Tchiani, former leader of Niger's presidential guard, was named "president of the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland" and signed an order to suspend the Constitution and dissolved the government, empowering the council to exercise all legislative and executive authorities.

The United Nations Security Council on Friday strongly condemned the military coup, calling for the immediate and unconditional release of the president, and underscored the need to protect him, his family and members of his government.

The African Union Peace and Security Council on Saturday demanded the Nigerien military restore constitutional authority within 15 days.

  •  Niger

Source: www.dailyfinland.fi

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