France Vows Strong Response To Attacks On Its Nationals, Interests In Niger Republic Following Coup | #NwokeukwuMascot


 President Emmanuel Macron | General Abdourahamane Tchiani 

France has condemned violence against its diplomatic mission in Niger Republic.

The former colonial power in Niger has subsequently pledged to react strongly to any attack on its nationals or interests, as anti-French protests took place outside the French Embassy in Niamey on Sunday following last week's military coup, Reuters reports.

"The President will not tolerate any attack against France and its interests," President Emmanuel Macron's office said in a statement, specifying that it would respond to attacks against French diplomats, armed forces or businesses.

In a separate statement, the Foreign Affairs ministry condemned all violence against diplomatic missions and called on Niger authorities to protect the French mission as required under international law.

Macron has spoken with ousted President Mohamed Bazoum and former president of Niger Mahamadou Issoufou in the last few hours, the statement from the president's office said, adding that both of them condemned the coup and called for calm. 

France, the former colonial power in Niger, announced on Saturday it was cutting all development aid to the country and called for Bazoum to be returned to office following his ouster late on Wednesday. Niger has been a security partner of France, and the United States, which have used it as a base to fight an Islamist insurgency in West and Central Africa's wider Sahel region.

Earlier on Sunday, SaharaReporters reported that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) directed the closure of land and air borders between members states and Niger Republic.

This is contained in a statement issued on Sunday by ECOWAS.

The Authority of Heads of State and Governments of ECOWAS, earlier on Sunday, issued a seven-day ultimatum to the military in Niger Republic to restore ousted President Muhammed Bazoum to office.

Shortly after issuing the ultimatum, the ECOWAS imposed stiff restrictions to ensure its orders were obeyed.

The West African regional body ordered the freezing of all Niger Republic enterprises and parastatals in commercial banks in all ECOWAS member states.

The statement partly reads: "ECOWAS imposes stiff restrictions, directs the following measures to take immediate effect on Niger Republic.

"Closure of land and air borders between ECOWAS and Niger.

"Institution of ECOWAS no flight zone to all commercial flights to and fro Niger.

"Suspension of all commercial and financial transactions between ECOWAS member states and Niger. 

"Freeze all service transactions including energy transactions. 

"Freeze assets of Niger Republic in all ECOWAS Central banks.

"Freeze all Niger State and the state enterprises and parastatals in commercial banks.

"Suspension of Niger from all financial assistance and transactions with all financial institutions." 

"Impose travel bans on the military officials and their families involved in the coup attempt including anyone who accepts to take a position in the military government," it adds.


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