The United Kingdom has declared its support for the position taken by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) regarding the military coup in Niger Republic, which resulted in the overthrow of President Mohamed Bazoum. The coup plotters have been given a seven-day ultimatum by ECOWAS Heads of State to restore President Bazoum to power or face military action.
UK Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly, conveyed the UK’s stance after an audience with President Bola Tinubu at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. He commended ECOWAS’ decisive action, strong commitment to democracy, and the unambiguous message that violence is not an acceptable means to bring about political change. Cleverly recognized President Bazoum as the legitimate leader and expressed the UK’s unwavering commitment to democracy in Nigeria and the region.
In response to the coup in Niger, ECOWAS has imposed immediate sanctions on the country. The bloc has closed land and air borders between member states and Niger, established a no-fly zone on all commercial flights to and from Niger, and suspended all commercial and financial transactions between ECOWAS member states and Niger. Furthermore, the assets of the Republic of Niger in the ECOWAS Central Bank, Niger State enterprises, and parastatals in commercial banks are to be frozen. Niger has also been suspended from all financial assistance and transactions with financial institutions within ECOWAS.
ECOWAS has been determined to restore democratic governance in Niger and has not ruled out the use of force if the coup plotters fail to comply with the ultimatum. The Chiefs of Defence Staff of ECOWAS member states have gathered in Abuja to strategize on the potential military action to be taken against the junta behind the coup.
The situation in Niger has drawn the attention and concern of the international community, with the UK expressing its support for ECOWAS’ efforts to bring about peace and democracy in the country. The UK Foreign Secretary emphasized the importance of stability in the region and pledged to continue liaising with ECOWAS member states, including Nigeria, to achieve this goal.
As the deadline approaches, the international community will closely monitor developments in Niger and the actions taken by ECOWAS to uphold democratic values and stability in the region. The outcome of ECOWAS’ intervention and the response of the coup plotters will shape the future course of events in Niger.