The Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, has formally suspended the Republic of Niger from all sub-regional bodies until constitutional order is restored in the country.
This is contained in a statement by the regional organization, following the decisions taken at the summit of heads of state and government held on Sunday in Abuja.
The statement said, “Until the 64th ordinary session held on Dec. 10, 2023, the Conference of Heads of State and Government considered the situation in Niger as a coup attempt and continued to consider Mohamed Bazoum the President of the Republic of Niger, Head of State.”
“Due to this position, Niger was not suspended from ECOWAS’ decision-making bodies and members of Bazoum’s government were authorized to represent Niger in ECOWAS’ statutory meetings.”
The Dec. 10 summit acknowledged that Mohamed Bazoum’s government had effectively been ousted by a military coup.
The statement added, “Accordingly, beginning from Dec. 10, 2023, Niger is suspended from all decision-making bodies of ECOWAS, until constitutional order is restored in the country.”
The ECOWAS leaders’ meeting in Abuja on Sunday asked the military junta of Niger, which came to power in a coup on July 26, to free the ousted president Mohamed Bazoum in exchange for the lifting of the sanctions imposed on the country.
The proposal was, however, rejected by the leader of the junta, Omar Abdourahmane Tchiani, who reiterated that Bazoum would not be released.