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Niger's Airspace Closed As Coup Leaders Defy Deadline Citing Military Intervention Threat

As a deadline set by a coalition of African countries for Nigerien military coup leaders to step down expired, Niger's airspace closed amid growing concerns of regional military intervention.

Daisy-Mae Schmitt
Aug 08, 202394 Shares18722 Views
As a deadline set by a coalition of African countries for Nigerien military coup leaders to step down expired, Niger's airspace closedamid growing concerns of regional military intervention.
The military coup, which took place in late July, plunged the nation into political turmoil, leading to international condemnation and the threat of force by neighboring nations.

Niger military junta closes airspace

The Coup And International Response

The military coup saw the seizure of President Mohamed Bazoum by members of the presidential guard, prompting the shutdown of national institutions.
While the coup garnered some domestic support, it was met with swift condemnation from Western nations and the United States.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), a regional bloc, issued a stern warning to the junta to relinquish power or face possible military intervention.
In response to the deadline's expiration, Nigerien coup leader Colonel Major Amadou Abdramane announced the closure of the nation's airspace due to the perceived threat of intervention from neighboring countries.
The junta's defiance underscores the escalating tensions in the region. Thousands of pro-junta supporters rallied in Niger's capital, Niamey, to protest against the sanctions imposed by ECOWAS.

Potential Military Action Looms

ECOWAS leaders convened to plan a collective response to the coup, including the possibility of military action as a last resort.
The bloc had previously imposed travel bans and asset freezes on coup leaders and their associates. France and the European Union also suspended financial aid to Niger in response to the coup.
It is essential to limit travel, to stay away from any gatherings and to keep themselves regularly informed of the situation.- Statement from the foreign ministry
The instability in Niger has broader implications for the region. Mali and Burkina Faso, both ruled by juntas, expressed solidarity with Niger by sending officials to the country.
France, the former colonial power, advised its citizens against traveling to the Sahel region due to rising anti-France sentiment.

Uncertain Path Forward

As the standoff between the coup leaders and ECOWAS continues, the fate of Niger remains uncertain.
All the elements that would go into any eventual intervention have been worked out here and [are] being refined, including the timing, including the resources needed, and including how and where and when we are going to deploy such a force.- Abdel-Fatau Musah, ECOWAS commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security
The junta's refusal to step down and the threat of military intervention raise concerns about the potential for further violence and regional instability.
The international community watches closely as the situation unfolds, with diplomatic efforts and potential military action hanging in the balance.

Final Words

In the shadow of Niger's political turmoil, the nation stands at a critical crossroads. With the junta's refusal to yield power and the specter of military intervention looming, the country's future hangs in the balance.
The international community's response, whether through diplomatic means or potential force, will play a pivotal role in determining the course of events in Niger and the broader regional stability in West Africa.
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