UYO – Admin
The European Union (EU) has condemned strongly the coup in Niger and threatens dire sanctions on the coup plotters.
EU described the coup as a grave threat to stability and democratic principles in the West African country.
The EU’s High Representative issued a statement on Friday, condemning the actions of the coup plotters and warning of potential consequences for their actions.
According to the EU’s statement, the coup in Niger is a clear violation of democratic principles and the established norms for the management of political power in the region.
In solidarity with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the EU expressed its support for the ongoing efforts to restore constitutional order and democracy in the troubled nation.
The EU emphasized the importance of safeguarding the rights of the ousted leader, President Mohamed Bazoum.
It warned that any abuse of President Bazoum’s fundamental rights would lead to dire repercussions, including the suspension of support to Niger.
The EU insisted that President Bazoum’s security and freedom of movement must be guaranteed unconditionally.
EU reaffirmed its commitment to the people of Niger, emphasizing its dedication to upholding the rule of law, human rights, and international humanitarian law within the country.
The EU stated its readiness to cooperate closely with ECOWAS Heads of State in handling the situation and addressing any potential breaches of the constitutional order.
Background of the Niger Coup
On July 26, 2023, a coup d’état plot started in Niger, where the country’s democratically elected President, Mohamed Bazoum, was overthrown by members of the presidential guard who were entrusted to safeguard his office.
President Bazoum, who made history as the first elected leader to succeed another in Niger since its independence in 1960, faced a sudden and unexpected detention by the presidential guards outside his palace.
Seizing control of the situation, the presidential guard commander, General Abdourahamane Tchiani, declared himself as the leader of a newly formed military junta.
As the plot intensified, the country’s constitution was suspended by the new ruling military junta, and Gen Abdourahamane Tchiani was installed as the head of state.
This swift change of leadership raised concerns among both domestic and international observers about the future of governance and stability in Niger.
The Niger Soldiers Throw Weight Behind Coup Plotters
In the wake of the military coup in Niger, the Guard’s chiefs, who initiated the coup on Thursday, received significant backing from the country’s armed forces.
The Armed forces chief General Abdou Sidikou Issa expressed his support for the putschists, stating that it was done “to avoid a deadly confrontation.”
The coup marks the latest upheaval in the tumultuous Sahel region of Africa.
Despite mounting condemnations from African and international organizations, as well as Germany, the United States, and France, President Mohamed Bazoum tried to maintain his position amidst the crisis.
French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna’s statements appeared to indicate some room for optimism regarding President Bazoum’s status.
She suggested that the situation was not yet finalized and that there might be a way out if those responsible for the coup listened to the international community.
The developments in Niger have drawn a mixed response from the international community, with some expressing concern and demanding the restoration of democratic governance, while others urged restraint and dialogue to find a resolution.
Response from International Communities
International reactions to the coup were swift and condemning. France, the former colonial power, demanded the restoration of the democratically elected government and refused to recognize the legitimacy of the putschists.
The European Union threatened to cut aid to Niger, considering the coup a “serious attack on stability and democracy” in the country.
Kenyan President William Ruto also expressed concern, calling the army takeover a “serious setback” for Africa.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) announced plans to hold a summit to discuss possible sanctions against the coup leaders and demand the immediate release of President Bazoum, whom they recognize as the legitimate and legal President of Niger.
Niger’s history has seen multiple coups and attempts, and the recent developments highlight the challenges faced by elected leaders in the Sahel region.
The country, one of the world’s poorest, has been grappling with a jihadist insurgency that has also affected neighboring countries like Mali and Burkina Faso.