Niger: ECOWAS Tightens Sanctions as Junta Demands Power Supply.

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    President Bola Tinubu on Tuesday said the biting sanctions imposed by the Economic Community of West African States on the Niger junta would not be lifted despite the military leaders’ promise to negotiate with the regional bloc to resolve the crisis in the francophone country.

    Tinubu, who stated this when he received the Special Envoy of President Ali Ondimba and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Gabon, Hermann Immongault, at the State House in Abuja, insisted that military takeover of government was no longer acceptable in Africa.

    However, the junta led by Gen Abdourahmane Tchiani, has demanded restoration of electricity cut off by the Federal Government as part of the embargoes slammed on the coupists following the overthrow of President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26.

    Tchiani, who made the request during their meeting with the Ulamas from Nigeria in Niamey on Saturday, said they were outraged that the regional bloc did not hear from them before slamming several embargoes on them, including the threat of military intervention to restore democracy.

    But Tinubu, who is the ECOWAS chairman, told his visitors on Tuesday that any interference in democratic governance would not be accepted by the leadership of the regional body.

    The President also praised the solidarity of the Economic Community of Central African States on the political impasse in the Republic of Niger, according to a statement released by the Presidential Spokesperson, Ajuri Ngelale.

    The President said the special message of support and solidarity from President Bongo, who doubles as the Chairman of ECCAS, expressing the full support for ECOWAS resolutions on the unconstitutional takeover of government in Niger, proved once more that military interference in democratic governance was not acceptable anywhere, and certainly, no longer so on the African continent.

    I appreciate the solidarity and support of President Bongo on the situation in Niger. We are working not to compound the problem. We have well-meaning people who have intervened.

    “I understand the fear of our people on any form of military action. We are working to keep the sanctions in place and we are following them to the letter.

    “We are happy to know that ECCAS is with us on this. Interference in democratic governance is not acceptable to ECOWAS,” Tinubu stated.

    Tinubu opposes coups

    Tinubu reinforced the position of the regional body not to accept any attempt by the military junta in Niger to intimidate and harass Bazoum who is in custody.

    “We will work with ECCAS and keep President Bongo informed on our actions and we will continue to collaborate,” the President assured.

    In his remarks, the Special Envoy commended the leadership of ECOWAS and Tinubu for the steps taken so far to restore democracy in Niger, adding that Bongo and ECCAS are fully in support of all ECOWAS resolutions.