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ECOWAS Cheers: Niger Freed from Sanctions

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The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has lifted with immediate effect, all the sanctions it imposed on the Republic of Niger, including closure of land and air borders between ECOWAS countries and Niger.

The regional bloc imposed a number of commercial and economic sanctions on Niger following a military takeover that overthrew the democratically elected President of the country, Mohamed Bazoum, last year. 

The ECOWAS sanctions have cut off Niger from many of its traditional trading partners, worsening chronic food insecurity among vulnerable groups. 

The junta has maintained relations with neighbours Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali, whom it sees as allies because all three are under military rule.

However, during ECOWAS’ extraordinary summit convened in the Nigerian capital Abuja on February 24, 2024, to discuss the Political, Peace and Security situation in the ECOWAS sub-region, the ECOWAS Heads of lifted the sanctions imposed on Niger with immediate effect in a communique. 

The meeting chaired by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu of Nigeria was attended by President Patrice Talon of Benin Republic, President Alassane Ouattara of Côte d’Ivoire, President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, President Umaro Embalo Siseco of Guinea Bissau, President Faure Gnassingbé Eyadéma of Togo, President Macky Sall of Senegal and President James Madaa Bio of Sierra Leone. The Gambia was represented by Vice President Muhammad Jallow and Cabo Verde and Liberia by their Ambassadors in Abuja

The sanctions which have been lifted are institution of ECOWAS no-fly zone on all commercial flights to and from Niger; suspension of all commercial and financial transactions between ECOWAS Member States and Niger; freeze of all service transaction including utility services and electricity to Niger Republic; freeze of assets of the Republic of Niger in ECOWAS Central Banks; freeze of assets of the Niger State, State Enterprises and Parastatals in Commercial Banks; and suspension of Niger from all financial assistance and transactions with all financial institutions, particularly, EBID and BOAD.
ECOWAS further lifted the travel ban on government officials and their family member.

additional source : graphic news

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