ECOWAS Postpones Summit On Situation In Niger

Today in Accra, the capital of Ghana, a summit of state and government leaders of the countries comprising the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was supposed to take place on the situation in Niger, where a coup d’état took place. But at the last moment, the organizers announced the postponement of the summit for an indefinite time, citing unspecified “technical reasons.” ECOWAS has repeatedly threatened military intervention in Niger if the legitimate President, Mohamed Bazoum, is not released and returned to power. The USA, Russia, and many other countries opposed the use of military force in Niger.
Meanwhile, the junta headed by Niger’s military leader Abdourahamane Tiani, who on Friday announced the formation of an interim government under Prime Minister Ali Mahamane Lamine Zeine, is beginning to win widespread popular support. In Niamey, the capital of Niger, thousands of supporters of the National Council for the Protection of the Homeland, as the organization that carried out the coup on July 26 is called, held a mass demonstration in front of the French embassy, shouting “Away with France! Away with ECOWAS!”
“We need the American and French military to leave the country immediately! We are tired of their military bases. We need Russia and any other power that can help us,” one of the protesters told reporters. There are currently 1,500 French and 1,000 American troops in Niger. It seems that after the coup, the West got very concerned about the shaping rapprochement between Niger and Russia, the world’s two largest producers of uranium, without which France’s nuclear power plants are in danger of shutting down.
Meanwhile, after the ECOWAS-imposed sanctions that froze all of Niger’s financial assets in West African banks and cut off the country’s electricity supply, the economic situation in this rebellious African country is becoming increasingly difficult – apparently to antagonize the population. After Niger’s Treasury failed to pay $3.76 million in principal debt on its government bonds on July 31, Niger failed to pay another $19 million on August 11 toward the next issue of its government bonds. Moody’s has downgraded Niger’s national and foreign currency sovereign rating from B3 to Caa2.
Finally, it became known that some of the Nigerian military leaders of the National Council for the Protection of the Homeland at some point underwent training in US military academies. On August 10, Pentagon spokesman Patrick Ryder said, “Yes, we know that part of the Niger military associated with events [unfolding in the republic] were trained by the USA in the past,” he said at a briefing, which was also broadcasted on YouTube.