The Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has given Niger a one-week ultimatum to restore constitutional order in the country.

This was disclosed in a communique at the end of an Extraordinary Session of the ECOWAS heads of state and government meeting held in
Abuja, Nigeria on 30th July 2023, under the chairmanship of Bola TINUBU, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Chair of the ECOWAS Authority.

The Summit was convened in response to the latest political developments in the Republic of Niger since the 26th of July 2023 following a military coup in the country.

The ECOWAS leaders resolved that having extensively discussed the latest developments in the Republic of Niger in an attempted overthrow by members of the Presidential Guard of the Constitutional order in the Republic of Niger and the illegal detention of the legitimate Head of State His Excellency President Muhammed Bazoum, as well as members of his family and government, noted that the government of neighboring countries, such as the African Union, United Nations, European Union, United States of America, China, Russia, la Francophonie, the Commonwealth, the OIC, and other partners has condemned in strong terms and had issued Zero tolerance for unconstitutional change of government as enshrined in the ECOWAS and African Union Protocols and other instruments, hence “Affirm that His Excellency President Mohamed BAZOUM remains the legitimate elected President and Head of State of The Republic of Niger recognized by ECOWAS, the African Union and the International community; In this regard, only official acts of President Bazoum or his duly mandated officials will be recognized by ECOWAS;

“Condemn in the strongest terms the attempted overthrow of constitutional order in Niger and the illegal detention of His Excellency President Mohamed Bazoum, President and Head of State of Niger, as well as members of his family and Government;

“Call for the immediate release and reinstatement of President Mohamed Bazoum as President and Head of State of the Republic of Niger, and for the full restoration of constitutional order in the Republic of Niger;

“Reject any form of resignation that may purportedly come from His Excellency President Mohamed Bazoum;

“Consider the illegal detention of President Bazoum as a hostage situation and hold the authors of the attempted coup d’état solely and fully responsible for the safety and security of His Excellency President Mohamed Bazoum, as well as members of his family and Government.”

It further states that “In the event, the Authority’s demands are not met within one week, take all measures necessary to restore constitutional order in the Republic of Niger. Such measures may include the use of force; To this effect, the Chiefs of defense staff of ECOWAS are to meet immediately;

“Hold accountable all those responsible for violence and terror against lives and properties of innocent citizens and residents;

In the meantime, the following measures are to be applied with immediate effect:

1 Closure of land and air borders between ECOWAS countries and Niger;

  1. Institution of ECOWAS no-fly zone on all commercial flights to and from

Niger;

  1. Suspension of all commercial and financial transactions between

ECOWAS Member States and Niger;

  1. Freeze of all service transactions including utility services;
  2. Freeze of assets of the Republic of Niger in ECOWAS Central Banks;
  3. Freeze of assets of the Niger State and the State Enterprises and Parastatals in Commercial Banks;
  4. Suspension of Niger from all financial assistance and transactions with

all financial institutions, particularly, EBID and BOAD;

  1. Travel ban and asset freeze for the military officials involved in the coup

attempt. The same applies to their family members and the civilians who

accept to participate in any institutions or government established by

these military officials;

  1. Calls on WAEMU and all other regional bodies to implement this decision.” A special representative will be appointed for the dispatch of the memorandum to the Chair of the Authority to Niger immediately to deliver the demands of the heads of the Authority.

 

 

 

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