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ECOWAS Imposes No Flight Zone On Niger Republic

President Bola Tinubu attends the 63rd Ordinary session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government in Guinea-Bissau on Sunday, July 9, 2023. He was elected the ECOWAS Chairman at the event.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has imposed a no-fly zone over Niger Republic in response to a military coup.

The decision was made today by the ECOWAS during an emergency meeting in response to the rising tensions in Niger caused by military actors attempting to seize power.

This massive step, which involves the closure of air and land borders, is considered as a critical reaction to the junta’s recent rise, which has caused significant discontent in the country and constitutes a threat to regional political stability.

The ECOWAS leadership believes that imposing a no-fly zone will help limit the junta’s influence and prevent potential allies from providing aerial support, even as coup leaders fear that the regional body will stage an imminent military intervention in the Sahel country’s capital.

In addition to the no-fly zone, the regional body has decided on immediate financial sanctions in response to the coup and has given the junta a week to transfer control, but not ruling out the use of force.

ECOWAS further insisted that President Mohamed Bazoum be recognized as Niger’s president, and urged member states and the international community to support and respect these decisions in order to aid in the restoration of peace and stability in the republic.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who also serves as Chairman of the ECOWAS, decried the coup by military commanders in Niger Republic today, saying Africa had reached a turning point.

In a briefing to regional leaders, Tinubu expressed ECOWAS’s concern with the Niger Republic coup.

“Africa has come of age, we reject coup and interruption to constitutional order,” the Nigerian leader said amid applause.

“As African leaders, it is our sheer responsibility to foster stability and progress, placing the wellbeing of our people at the forefront of our endeavours.

“Working together towards their prosperity and happiness must always constantly be our goal and consistently, we will stand with our people in freedom and our commitment to the rule of law and not the barrel of gun.”

General Abdourahamane Tchiani, the commander of Niger’s strong presidential guard, assumed power late Wednesday following a military coup. The United Nations, African Union, European Union, and the United States, among other world and regional leaders, have all criticized the move.

Tchiani, 59, has avoided the spotlight despite a remarkable military career that saw him command the elite 700-member unit from 2011 to the present.

Tchiani declared himself president on Friday, following a takeover that began on Wednesday, when his presidential guards seized President Mohamed Bazoum and imprisoned him in the presidential palace.

Written by PH

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