The European Union has offered its unflagging support to Niger’s overthrown leader, President Mohamed Bazoum, while also demanding that his release must be unconditional and without delay.
The commander of Niger’s presidential guard, General Abdourahamane Tchiani on Friday declared himself the head of a transitional government after his soldiers took President Mohamed Bazoum into custody on Wednesday, July 26, 2023.
“The European Union does not recognize and will not recognize the authorities resulting from the putsch in Niger. President Bazoum was democratically elected; he is and therefore remains the only legitimate President of Niger,” EU High Representative, Josep Borrell said in a statement on Saturday, July 29, 2023.
Borrell’s statement also said the EU holds the putschists responsible for his safety and that of his family, just as it condemns the move by the Putschists to suspend the constitution.
“The announcement by the putschists of the suspension of the constitution and the dissolution of democratic institutions weakens the State and the people of Niger, whose peace, stability and security must be preserved.”
Borrell said the EU was ready to support future decisions taken by West Africa’s regional bloc, including the adoption of sanctions.
“The European Union reiterates its very clear calls for the full and complete restoration, without delay, of constitutional order and fully associates itself with the declarations of ECOWAS and its African and international partners in this regard.
“In coordination with the President of the European Council, I will continue this weekend the numerous contacts already underway in order to achieve this result. And we stand ready to support future ECOWAS decisions, including the adoption of sanctions.”
This unacceptable attack, according to the Statement, on the integrity of Niger’s republican institutions will not remain without consequences for the partnership and cooperation which binds the European Union and Niger, in all different aspects.
“In this regard, in addition to the immediate cessation of budget support, all cooperation actions in the security field are suspended sine die with immediate effect,” Borrell warned.