In response to the military junta’s takeover in Niger, West African leaders, represented by the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), have issued a series of demands and imposed immediate financial sanctions.
The ultimatum given to the military junta is one week to cede power and restore constitutional order.
ECOWAS has explicitly called for the “immediate release and reinstatement” of Niger’s elected president, Mohamed Bazoum, who has been in military custody since the coup began on Wednesday. The regional bloc has warned that if the demands are not met within the given timeframe, they are prepared to take all necessary measures to restore constitutional governance in the Republic of Niger, and this includes the possibility of using force.
In light of the situation, ECOWAS has taken swift action by suspending all commercial and financial transactions between its member states and Niger, a move that could significantly impact the country’s economy. Additionally, energy transactions have been halted as part of the sanctions.
Furthermore, ECOWAS has frozen Niger’s assets held in central and commercial banks within the bloc. Additionally, it has imposed a travel ban and asset freeze on military officials involved in the coup attempt, as well as their family members. Moreover, any civilians who choose to participate in institutions or government established by these military officials will also face similar sanctions.
The collective response by ECOWAS demonstrates the seriousness with which the regional body views the situation in Niger and its commitment to upholding democratic principles and constitutional order in the region.