Niger Closes Air Space, Gives Reason

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Niger’s military rulers declared the closure of the country’s airspace on Sunday, threatening that any violation would be met with an “energetic and immediate response.”

The military rulers in a statement released on Sunday stated, “Faced with the threat of intervention, which is becoming clearer through the preparation of neighbouring countries, Niger’s airspace is closed from this day on Sunday for all aircraft until further notice.”

The closure comes as a deadline from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for the military rulers to relinquish power to democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum ended.

ECOWAS had issued an ultimatum to Niger’s new military leaders to stand down within the week or potentially face military intervention.

Bazoum was ousted on July 26 by members of his own guard who detained him at the presidency.

The current situation has created tensions in the region as ECOWAS pressures the new rulers to restore democratic order.

In a related development, ECOWAS and African Union (AU) leaders held a meeting on Sunday as the deadline set by the regional bloc for the Niger junta to return President Mohamed Bazoum to power expired yesterday.

Bellnews gathered that the meeting was virtual.

The meeting was part of consultations by the Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, President Bola Tinubu on the situation in Niger.

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