The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) issued an ultimatum to the coup plotters in Niger, demanding the restoration of power to the democratically elected government within one week or face the possibility of forceful intervention.
The ultimatum was declared during an Extraordinary Summit held in Abuja in response to the coup that occurred on Wednesday.
In a communique read by ECOWAS Commission chairperson, Omar Touray, the bloc made clear that if the authorities’ demands were not met within the specified timeframe, they would take all necessary measures to reinstate constitutional order in the Republic of Niger, even if it meant resorting to the use of force.
The resolutions reached at the Summit emphasized the legitimacy of President Mohammed Bazoum as the elected head of state, recognized by ECOWAS, the African Union (AU), and the international community. The coup attempt was strongly condemned, along with the illegal detention of President Bazoum, his family, and government officials. ECOWAS demanded the immediate release of the president and his reinstatement.
ECOWAS held the authors of the attempted coup solely responsible for the safety and security of President Bazoum, his family, and the government officials affected. A special representative would be appointed to deliver ECOWAS’s demands to the rebellious forces in Niger.
The bloc also condemned foreign governments and private military contractors supporting the coup, although no specific names were mentioned.
In addition to the ultimatum, immediate sanctions were imposed on Niger, and ECOWAS declared the closure of air and land borders between its member states and Niger, along with the establishment of a no-fly zone in the region. These measures were put in place while awaiting the expiry of the one-week deadline.
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