Ecowas May Resort to ‘Force’ to Reinstate Niger’s Bazoum

Ecowas May Resort to ‘Force’ to Reinstate Niger’s Bazoum

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(Bloomberg) —

The Economic Community of West African States may resort to the use of “force” if coup leaders in Niger do not reinstate the democratically elected regime of President Mohamed Bazoum.

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“In the event that the authority’s demands are not met within one week, we will take all measures necessary to restore constitutional order in the republic of Niger,” Ecowas said in a communique Sunday after a meeting in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital. 

Read more: Niger Rally Supports Coup as Bloc Imposes Sanctions on Junta

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General Abdourahamane Tiani declared himself Niger’s new leader on Friday, two days after the presidential guard he leads detained Bazoum. The coup leaders, who are believed to be backed by all the segments of the security forces, have dismissed calls from the regional bloc, the African Union, the US and France to release Bazoum and return to their barracks.

The 15-member Ecowas imposed economic and diplomatic sanctions with immediate effect. The bloc closed air and land borders with Niger, froze the country’s assets at the regional central bank and state assets in commercial banks, banned commercial flights to and from Niger and froze all service transactions, including energy transactions. 

Read more: US Mulls Freezing Aid to Niger as Coup Condemnation Grows 

Ecowas also suspended Niger from all financial assistance and transactions with all financial institutions and member states and introduced travel-ban and asset-freeze on the military officials involved in the coup, their family members and the civilians who accept a position in any government they establish.

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—With assistance from Katarina Hoije.

(Updates with sanctions from fourth paragraph.)

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