After three months of uncertainty, a specialized UN commission has made a decisive ruling. The ambassador of Niger’s transitional government can now officially represent Niamey in New York. In September, the UN barred his entry to the General Assembly, following directives from the Security Council, which continued to recognize Mohamed Bazoum’s government as the sole legitimate authority.
This negotiation marks a significant achievement for General Tiani’s government, offering a glimpse into how Niger’s transitional government is asserting itself in West Africa.
The Verification of Powers Commission, meeting annually in New York to adjudicate potential disputes over the recognition of ambassadors at the United Nations, decided on December 6 to acknowledge the Nigerien ambassador of the transitional government.
Originally appointed by Mohamed Bazoum, the ambassador had been disavowed when he joined the coup, creating ambiguity about his legitimacy at the United Nations. Initially, Russia, China, and the United States—three of the nine commission members—considered not making a decision on the Nigerien case and leaving a vacant seat for Niger at the UN. However, Togo and Nigeria, two other members who seem to have shifted their stance towards General Tiani in recent weeks, persuaded the three major powers to officially recognize his representative.
The recent rapprochement between Niamey and Moscow, following the visit of the Russian Deputy Defense Minister to Niger on December 4, likely influenced Russia to lend its support to the UN decision. As decisions are made by consensus and the United States had not received specific instructions to object, the verdict was duly endorsed.