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Niger’s suspends military cooperation with France

Niger Coup Leader Colonel Major Amadou Abdramane And The Cnsp Leadership
Niger Coup Leader Colonel Major Amadou Abdramane And The Cnsp Leadership

Niger’s junta announced on Thursday the suspension of various military cooperation agreements with France, while the defense chiefs of the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) said Friday that dialogue and negotiation “should be at the forefront.”

The National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland (CNSP), the governing body established by the military in Niger after a coup on July 26, issued a statement, saying it has revoked five agreements signed by the two countries between 1997 and 2020 because of “France’s casual attitude and reaction to the internal situation” in Niger.

France has a deployment of approximately 1,500 soldiers in Niger, and some 1,200 registered French nationals are living in the country.

The Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs of France said Wednesday that over 350 French citizens had been evacuated from Niger, and more than 510 people were on the evacuation flights.

A joint statement by the ECOWAS defense chiefs after a three-day extraordinary meeting said the committee had examined the immediate implication of the coup in Niger and its potential ripple effects across the ECOWAS region collectively while recognizing the gravity of the situation in Niger and the urgent need for a well-coordinated response.

The statement said regional security architecture should be strengthened to enhance the collective response to security challenges, but “dialogue and negotiations should be at the forefront of our approach in resolving the crisis in the Republic of Niger.”

Nigerian President Bola Tinubu, who is the chairman of the authority of heads of state and government of the ECOWAS, on Friday formally notified the country’s senate of the recent resolutions of West African leaders on the situation in Niger which culminated in the overthrow of President Mohamed Bazoum by the military. He also said the regional bloc had agreed to impose sanctions on Niger’s military leaders involved in the recent coup.

Niger’s military forces said last week that soldiers in the country had overthrown President Bazoum, hours after the president was allegedly held hostage. Abdourahamane Tchiani, former leader of Niger’s presidential guard, was named president of the CNSP and he suspended the Constitution and dissolved the government, empowering the council to exercise all legislative and executive authorities.

Bazoum on Thursday asked the international community for help, while the CNSP has refused to hand back power and threatened to meet force with force.

The coup has drawn condemnations from international and regional organizations, some of which, for example the ECOWAS, have imposed sanctions on the junta and threatened to restore order in Niger by force.

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