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Niger Republic Coup: ECOWAS defence chiefs meet In Nigeria

The toll of Niger coup on West African trade

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will hold a 2 day meeting of defence chiefs in Abuja, Nigeria, starting Wednesday, to discuss the recent coup in Niger.

The military leaders who seized power in the West African nation last week have been given a week to restore President Mohamed Bazoum to power or face sanctions and possible military intervention.

ECOWAS declared its “zero tolerance” for coups and has said it will “take all measures necessary to restore constitutional order” if its demands are not met, Voice of Nigeria reports.

The bloc has also imposed a no-fly zone over Niger, closed all land borders with the country, and imposed financial sanctions against the junta.

The junta has said it will not back down and has warned ECOWAS and unnamed Western nations against stepping in. It is unclear what will happen if the coup does not comply with ECOWAS’s demands.

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The coup in Niger is the latest in a series of military takeovers in West Africa. In 2020, there were coups in Mali and Guinea, and in 2021, there was a coup in Burkina Faso. ECOWAS has been criticized for its handling of these coups, with some arguing that the bloc has not done enough to deter further military takeovers.

It remains to be seen whether ECOWAS will be able to successfully restore constitutional order in Niger. However, the bloc’s tough stance on the coup is a sign that it is taking the situation seriously and is determined to prevent further instability in the region.