Niger Republic Coup: 11 ECOWAS Heads Of State In Abuja For Extraordinary Meeting
ECOWAS, Heads of State and Governments from 11 out of 16 member States, are currently in Abuja at an extraordinary meeting over the military coup in Niger Republic.
There will be a closed-door session for deliberations after the meeting.
The summit, which is holding at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, will be deliberating on developments in the neighbouring Niger Republic, particularly on the next line of actions that will follow up on the resolutions and ultimatum issued to the Nigerien junta, which recently sacked the administration of the democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum.
Recall that at about fortnight ago, the ECOWAS Heads of State ordered the military junta in Niger that overthrew the democratically-elected President Muhamad Bazoum to reverse their action and reinstate the President.
ECOWAS gave the military junta a seven-day ultimatum to vacate the seat of power and handover to the sacked President, Bazoum and the ultimatum had since expired.
It threatened several sanctions including military actions against the military junta if they failed to vacate office and reinstate the embattled President.
Among the President at the Old Banquet Hall, Presidential Villa, Abuja, the venue of the extraordinary meeting are the ECOWAS Chairman and President of Nigeria, Bola Tinubu; President Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone; President Umaro Mokhtar Sissoco of Guinea Bissau, and President Everiste Ndayishimiye of Burundi.
Others are President Alassane Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire, President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani of Mauritania, President Nana Akofo-Ado of Ghana, President Macky Sall of Senegal, President Patrice Talon of Benin Republic and Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé Eyadéma of Togo.
The Gambia and Liberia are member-states being represented by their Ministers of Foreign Affairs.
Those absent are the heads of state in the troubled Niger Republic, Mali, Chad, Burkina Faso
The ECOWAS Authority had, during the last Extraordinary Summit, held on July 30, in Abuja, imposed a number of sanctions on Niger, particularly the coupists, and demanded for the immediate release of President Bazoum, his family and members of the his government, who are all being detained by the military.
Sanctions on Niger
Reading out the sanctions at the end of that Summit, President of the ECOWAS Commission, Omar Touray, said “the following measures are to be applied with immediate effect.
“One, closure of land and air borders between ECOWAS countries and Niger. Two, institution of ECOWAS no-fly zone on all commercial flights to and from Niger.
“Suspension of all commercial and financial transactions between ECOWAS Member-states and Niger. Freeze all service transactions, including energy transactions.
“Freeze assets of the Republic of Niger in ECOWAS Central Banks, freeze of the assets of the Niger state and the state enterprises and parastatals in commercial banks.
“Suspension of measure from all financial assistance and transactions with all financial institutions, particularly, EBID. Call WAMU and all other regional bodies to implement this decision.
“Impose 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”, the Authority said.
Meanwhile, in order to avert the escalation of the crisis and stave off the possibility of an armed intervention, several stakeholders in Nigeria and Niger have been making moves to prevail on both the ECOWAS and the military junta in Niger to approach the situation diplomatically and continue with negotiations.
This morning, however, the Abdourahamane Tchiani-led junta, announced a 21-member cabinet, to be led by Ali Mahaman Liman Zeine, who was appointed as Prime Minister by the military.