ECOWAS blinks as Niger remains defiant

ECOWAS plans review of Niger junta position


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In a bid to find a lasting solution to the political crisis in Niger Republic, the Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will meet again tomorrow.

The ECOWAS leaders had initially given the Niger military republic seven days to restore the country’s deposed President, Muhammed Bozoum, but the Niger military junta refused to comply with this decision, which has reportedly forced ECOWAS leaders to call for a new meeting.

A statement by the Directorate of Communication, Abuja Headquarters of the ECOWAS Commission indicated that “the summit will hold in Abuja”.

“The ECOWAS leaders will be considering and discussing the political situation and recent developments in Niger during the summit,” the terse statement added.

The ECOWAS leaders are led by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

The junta’s closure of airspace since Sunday disrupted the skies over landlocked Niger, which is more than twice the size of France.

It borders Libya, which is considered too unsafe for the passing of commercial aircraft.

Flights between London and Nairobi and London and South Africa were forced to divert.

“The closure of Niger’s airspace dramatically widens the area over which most commercial flights between Europe and southern Africa cannot fly,” tracking service FlightRadar24 said in a blog post.

Youths in Niger’s capital Niamey formed vigilante groups ahead of possible military intervention by the country’s neighbours to unseat the junta.

Vigilantes set up traffic checkpoints at several roundabouts overnight and were seen inspecting vehicles, according to a DPA reporter in the city.

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