Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has imposed sanctions on the military headed by the former head of the presidential guard, Gen. Abdourahamane Tchiani in Niger Republic.
ECOWAS leaders enforced a no-flight zone over the country following military takeover that has thrown the region into chaos.
Others include closure of Land and air borders between ECOWAS and Niger; Suspension of all commercial and financial transactions between ECOWAS member states and Niger; Freeze all service transactions including energy transactions; Freeze assets of Niger Republic in all ECOWAS Central banks; Freeze all Niger State and the state enterprises and Parastatals in commercial banks; Suspension of Niger from all financial assistance and transactions with all financial institutions; Impose travel bans on the military officials and their families involved in the coup attempt including anyone who accepts to take a position in the military government.
It also issued a seven-day ultimatum to the military coupists in Niger Republic to reinstate President Mohamed Bazoum as a democratically elected President or face a range of stiff sanctions.
The decision was announced at the emergency meeting of the ECOWAS leaders held in Presidential Villa in Abuja.
President Bola Tinubu, who is also the Chairman of the ECOWAS presided over the meeting.
Tinubu had reacted to the political unrest in Republic of Niger, when he warned that ECOWAS would not accept coups in the continent.
Among African leaders at the venue are the transitional President of Tchad, Gen Mahamat Kaka, President. Umaro Mokhtar Sissoco of Guinea-Bissau and Togo. Others are Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé Eyadéma and President
Others are President Macky Sall of Senegal, President Patrice Talon of Benin Republic, President Nana Akofo-Ado of Ghana and President Adama Barrow of The Gambia, among others.
According to the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Omar Touray, who read the communiqué, the body “calls for the immediate release and reinstatement of President Mohamed Bazoum as President and Head of State of the Republic of Niger and for the full restoration of constitutional order in the Republic of Niger.
“While recognising Bazoum as the country’s legitimate President, the regional body also threatened to impose land border closures and no-fly zone conditions on Niger Republic should the military coup masterminds fail to heed its ultimatum.
It also tasked all Chiefs of Defense Staff of the member-states to proceed for an emergency meeting to strategize on effective ways to implement a possible military operation to restore constitutional order to office.
“Reject any form of resignation that may purportedly come from His Excellency, President Mohamed Bazoum; considered the illegal detention of President Bazoum as a hostage situation and hold the authors of the attempted coup that are solely and fully responsible for the safety and security of His Excellency President Mohammed Bazoum, as well as members of his family and government.
“In the event the Authority’s demands are not met within one week, take all measures necessary to restore constitutional order in the Republic of Niger.
“Suspension of all commercial and financial transactions between ECOWAS Member States and Asia. Freeze all service transactions including energy transactions.
“Freeze assets of the Republic of Niger in Aqua Central Bank. Freeze of 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”, he said
The African Union, ECOWAS, UN, EU and Niger’s former colonial ruler France, have condemned the takeover, insisting on return to constitutional rule in the country.
Though funding is still unclear, the ECOWAS leaders have agreed on a regional security force to intervene against jihadists and military coups.