After five days of being held in the facilities of the External Security Services, the local director of BCEAO in Niger, Laouali Abdou Rafa, has returned to his residence. He was released on the evening of Saturday, November 4. Laouali Abdou had been arrested on August 2, following the coup d’état on July 26.
Following the announcement of his release, Laouali Abdou Rafa’s residence in the embassy district saw an outpouring of visitors. Family, friends, and colleagues came to greet the local director of the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO).
As of now, the reasons for his initial arrest have not been officially disclosed. Last Friday, the general management of BCEAO, headquartered in Dakar, expressed concern over the situation.
This latest arrest occurs during a period of significant financial tensions in Niger. The country is facing a liquidity crisis, with banks struggling to provide cash to clients with funds in their accounts.
In front of certain banks, long queues can be seen, stretching for dozens of meters. This situation results from BCEAO closing all its branches from August 1 until further notice, following the economic and financial sanctions imposed by ECOWAS and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU).
According to several observers and sources within BCEAO, the junta, through the arrest of Abdou Rafa, appears to be exerting pressure on the sub-regional institution to ease its restrictions on the country.