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ECOWAS extends sanctions against Niger - agency

According to AFP, participants in the summit decided to extend the sanctions for an indefinite period

NAIROBI, December 10. /TASS/. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has announced the extension of its sanctions against Niger’s new leaders, which were imposed in August, but said it will be ready to lift them if transition period is completed in due time, AFP reported, citing the ECOWAS Summit’s statement.

According to the agency, participants in the summit, which was held in the Nigeria’s capital city Abuja, decided to extend the sanctions against Niger for an indefinite period. According to ECOWAS Commission President Omar Touray, a delegation of representatives from Benin, Togo, and Sierra Leone will discuss conditions for the sanction mitigation with Niger’s military leadership.

On November 21, Niger issued a request to the ECOWAS Court asking to suspend the sanctions due to the dire humanitarian situation in the country following the closure of borders and the interruption of power supplies from Nigeria. Niger’s authorities say that ECOWAS’ attitude toward Niger is unfair as compared to its attitude toward Mali, Burkina Faso, and Guinea, which have also seen state coups in recent years. The court dismissed the request.

In late July, a group of military rebels in Niger announced the removal of President Mohamed Bazoum. The mutineers then established the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland (known by its French abbreviation CNSP, for Conseil national pour la sauvegarde de la patrie), headed by General Abdourahmane Tchiani, to run the country. ECOWAS suspended Niger’s membership in the organization and imposed tough sanctions on the country. Apart from that, ECOWAS leaders demanded that the rebels release Bazoum and warned about the possibility of a military resolution of the situation if he was not released.