The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has formally suspended the Republic of Niger from all sub-regional bodies until constitutional order is reinstated in the nation. This decision was confirmed through an official statement released by the regional organization, outlining the resolutions reached during the summit of heads of state and government convened on Sunday in Abuja.
According to the statement, the Conference of Heads of State and Government, in its 64th ordinary session held on December 10, 2023, considered the situation in Niger as a coup attempt and maintained Mohamed Bazoum as the recognized President of the Republic of Niger and Head of State.
Up until this session, Niger had not faced suspension from ECOWAS’ decision-making bodies, and members of Bazoum’s government were permitted to represent Niger in ECOWAS’ statutory meetings.
However, the summit on December 10 acknowledged the reality of a military coup that had effectively ousted Mohamed Bazoum’s government. Consequently, the statement indicated that starting from December 10, 2023, Niger is suspended from all decision-making bodies of ECOWAS until constitutional order is restored in the country.
During the ECOWAS leaders’ meeting in Abuja on Sunday, the military junta of Niger, which seized power in a coup on July 26, was strongly urged to release the ousted president, Mohamed Bazoum, as a precondition for lifting sanctions imposed on the country. However, the leader of the junta, Omar Abdourahmane Tchiani, rejected the proposal, emphasizing that Bazoum would not be released.
The situation underscores the complex political dynamics unfolding in Niger and the diplomatic efforts being made within the ECOWAS framework to address the crisis.