Niger: Calls for Junta to Accept ECOWAS Sanctions Lift

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The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) made a significant decision during its extraordinary summit in Abuja last Saturday by lifting sanctions against Niger. Following the military coup on July 26th, 2023, Niger faced a range of sanctions, primarily impacting the population economically.

The effective cessation of sanctions could occur swiftly and gradually, barring any political considerations. However, the National Council for the Salvation of the People (CNSP) junta has yet to respond to ECOWAS decisions.

One of the sanctions that could be swiftly lifted pertains to border closures. On the terrestrial front, the bridge linking Niger to Benin remains barricaded by concrete blocks on the Nigerien side.

Economist Adamou Louché Ibrahim explains that these obstacles were erected “to shield Niger from potential military operations announced by ECOWAS.” He further elaborates that in terms of financial transactions, the focus will shift to technical and operational aspects. This shift aims to enable Nigerien commercial banks, through the central bank, to access sufficient liquidity to meet the country’s economic obligations.

Despite the announcement of the sanctions lift and considering that the Nigerien economy heavily relies on trade with Benin and Nigeria, the CNSP junta has not yet responded.

According to Adamou Louché Ibrahim, this reluctance to respond indicates that political tensions persist. He emphasizes that authorities will eventually be confronted by the realities of everyday life, as the population has endured significant hardships.

Moreover, voices are emerging, urging authorities to be more conciliatory and accept the olive branch extended by ECOWAS, acting in the best interests of the population eager to resume normalcy.

For the Nigerien economist, authorities cannot sustain this status quo for long, especially with Ramadan approaching in about fifteen days.


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