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Boydton Thursday 28 Sep 2023
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Rigorous Sanctions Imposed on Niger by West African Economic and Monetary Union

By Segun Adewole
Rigorous Sanctions Imposed on Niger by West African Economic and Monetary Union
WAEMU on Sunday suspended transactions with coup-hit Niger

Image Credit: 24heures

Decisive Actions Taken at Extraordinary Summit

The West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) has announced a series of stringent sanctions against Niger. These decisions were reached during an extraordinary summit that took place in Abuja, Nigeria. The comprehensive set of sanctions imposed on Niger are encapsulated in ten main points.

Sanctions Encompassing Land, Air, and Financial Channels

The first wave of sanctions targets Niger’s connectivity to other UEMOA member countries, with a closure of both land and air borders. Additionally, a flight ban has been enforced, preventing any aircraft from flying to or from Niger. The sanctions further extend to commercial and financial transactions, encompassing petroleum products, electricity, goods, and services. As a result, all such transactions between UEMOA countries and Niger have been suspended.

(Read Also: Continuity Amidst Change: Niger’s Military Junta Urges Ministers to Maintain Routine Services)

Freezing of Nigerien Assets

In a bid to isolate Niger financially, the UEMOA has frozen all financial and monetary assets of the Nigerien state within the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) and commercial banks in UEMOA countries. This freeze extends to the financial and monetary assets of Niger’s public and quasi-public companies.

The suspension of financial operations is not limited to the state level but also includes operations between Nigerien banks and those in other UEMOA countries. Additionally, the UEMOA financial institutions, specifically the West African Development Bank (BOAD), have suspended all assistance and financial transactions in favor of Niger.

(Read Also: African Union Takes a Stand: Demands Immediate Restoration of Constitutional Authority in Niger)

Travel Bans and Asset Freezing for Coup Perpetrators

The UEMOA has enforced stringent measures against the individuals involved in the attempted coup in Niger. These measures include travel bans, freezing of financial assets, and confiscation of property. These restrictions apply to both civilians and military personnel who participate in any institutions or government bodies the military tries to establish in the coup. Furthermore, these restrictions extend to the families of the involved individuals, who would also be banned from residing in UEMOA countries.

UEMOA Affirms Support for President Mohamed Bazoum

The heads of state and government of the UEMOA have reaffirmed their recognition of President Mohamed Bazoum as the sole legitimate head of state of Niger. Consequently, only official acts issued by him and his representatives are recognized by the UEMOA. The UEMOA has sent a stern warning, stating that should Bazoum’s physical integrity be compromised, those responsible will be held accountable.

(Read Also: France Rejects Niger’s Military Coup: Maintains Bazoum as Legitimate President)

Summary of UEMOA’s Stance

In essence, the UEMOA has taken a firm stance against the coup attempt in Niger, implementing stringent sanctions designed to isolate the country commercially and financially. While these actions are severe, they reflect the UEMOA’s commitment to maintaining stability and legitimacy in the region, firmly supporting President Mohamed Bazoum as the rightful leader of Niger.

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