Nigeria sanctions organisations and people backing Niger’s Junta

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Nigeria announced on Tuesday sanctions on organizations, groups and individuals identified as supporting the military junta in the crisis-ridden Niger Republic.

Ajuri Ngelale, the spokesperson for Nigerian President Bola Tinubu, told reporters that the move was made in light of the pre-existing consensus of the West African leaders on the Niger impasse.

The Nigerian president, who is also the current chairman of the authority of heads of state and government of the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), ordered the new sanctions through Nigeria’s central bank, aimed at groups and individuals involved in the coup in Niger, said Ngelale.

Over a week ago, the regional bloc agreed to impose sanctions on Niger’s military leaders involved in the recent coup, saying that the military junta in Niger must cede power in a week and immediately release and reinstate the country’s elected president, Mohamed Bazoum, or the ECOWAS will take all necessary measures to restore constitutional order, including the use of force.

The ECOWAS leaders also agreed to impose financial and travel restrictions on Niger’s military leaders involved in the coup and establish a no-fly zone over the country. They decided to freeze Niger’s assets in the central and commercial banks of ECOWAS countries.

Ngelale said “no options have been taken off the table” in dealing with the situation in Niger, and there will be “far-reaching decisions” to be taken at the ECOWAS summit on Thursday concerning the bloc’s next steps.

The presidential spokesperson said Tinubu had widened consultations both domestically and internationally on the various fallouts and outcomes of the unfortunate situation in Niger.

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