The African Union (AU) has suspended Niger from the continental bloc with immediate effect following its coup on July 26, 2023.
This is one of the latest repercussions on the West African country since last month’s coup after the military ousted President Mohamed Bazoum.
AU announced the decision on Tuesday, August 22 after a meeting of the Peace and Security Council in its headquarters Addis Ababa Ethiopia.
Further, the move came after several Western countries cut their aid to Niger following the ouster of President Bazoum.
Ousted President Bazoum has been under house arrest since members of his presidential guard overthrew him.
AU and ECOWAS Sanctions on Niger
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) had also imposed sanctions and agreed on a day they will begin a military intervention through a plan that is already in place.
ECOWAS said that they will use force as the “last resort” after exhausting all available diplomatic channels in negotiation
Furthermore, on Monday, it rejected a proposal from the Niger military to hold elections within three years.
However, the AU issued a statement saying it will review ECOWAS’s plan of action.
Also, the AU has called on all its member states and the international community to refrain from undertaking any action that may legitimize Niger’s military government.
“We are studying the ECOWAS decision to prepare forces for deployment in Niger, and the African Commission will evaluate its repercussions,” the statement said.
“We strongly reject any external interference by any party or country in the affairs of the continent, including private military companies.”
General Abdourahamane, the coup leader proposed a three-year transition back to democracy and an election to restore civilian rule.
However, ECOWAS rejected the proposal through a delegation sent to Niger as it exploits all diplomatic channels.
In response, ECOWAS commissioner for politics and security, Abdel-Fatau Musah described the proposal as “a joke” and said the bloc would “never accept it”.
“We want constitutional order to be restored as soon as possible,” he said in an interview with Al Jazeera
“Military action is not off the table,” he added.
Niger has faced several sanctions from regional blocs including her former colony, France.
Effects of Coup
Allies to Niger including Mali and Burkina Faso have come to the defense of Niger stating that a declaration of war on it was equal to declaration on them.
300 trucks arrived in Niger’s capital of Niamey on Monday, August 21, from Burkina Faso with food in aid to Niger after sanctions.
Sanctions have affected supply of food and vital medical supply to Niger as per the World Food Programme (WFP).
Neighboring Nigeria and Benin have also closed their borders as pressure mount on Niger’s Junta military to reverse their actions.