- This decision allows both civil and commercial aircraft immediate access to Niger’s airspace
- ECOWAS had threatened to use force to restore constitutional order if the ousted president was not reinstated, but the junta appointed General Abdourahamane Tchiani as the new ruler
After taking control through a coup more than a month ago, the military junta in Niger has decided to reopen the country’s airspace. This move applies to both civil and commercial aircraft, and it was announced on Monday.
The closure of Niger’s airspace had initially followed the removal of the democratically elected president in a coup on July 26, with the aim of preventing intervention by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
ECOWAS had threatened to use force to restore constitutional order unless Niger’s ousted president, Mohamed Bazoum, who is currently under house arrest, was reinstated.
However, General Abdourahamane Tchiani, the commander of the elite Presidential Guard responsible for the coup, has taken control and established a caretaker government with a maximum tenure of three years.
Niger, a Sahel nation with approximately 26 million inhabitants and one of the world’s most impoverished populations, was among the last democratic partners of the United States and Europe in the region commonly referred to as the “coup belt.”
In Brussels, the European Union is actively preparing sanctions against the individuals involved in the coup, targeting key figures in the junta, according to diplomats. Additionally, organizations supporting the new military leadership could also face sanctions from the EU.