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Niger: EU says "there is room for mediation efforts"

Peter Stano, European comission spokesperson during press conference on august 8th 2023.   -  
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Coup in Niger

"There is still room for mediation efforts in Niger", declared European commission spokesman Peter Stano during a press conference in Brussels on Tuesday.

Even though, efforts by ECOWAS and the United States to parlay with Niger's new rulers made no headway ahead of a regional summit to mull options that include military intervention.

"At this stage, as I said, the European Union, we still believe that there is a there is a space, there is a room for a mediation effort. So, we will not go beyond and speculate. Very important to bear in mind, there is an extraordinary meeting of the ECOWAS (West Africa's regional bloc). ECOWAS is the main actor, the main regional actor in this. Whatever ECOWAS decides, will then be implemented. And the European Union has declared strong support for decisions and actions and efforts of ECOWAS to find a solution to this situation," stated Peter Stano.

In addition to the economic blockade imposed by ECOWAS, several countries and international organizations have expressed misgivings about their financial aid.

France, followed by Germany, was one of the first countries to announce the suspension of its official development assistance.

"All activities currently are suspended, meaning financial assistance, meaning civilian mission, the cooperation in security issues. So basically, we are not working together with the current illegitimate authorities in Niger," added the European Commission spokesperson.

ECOWAS had given the mutinous soldiers until Sunday to release and reinstall Mr. Bazoum, otherwise it threatened to use force.

It is not immediately clear what ECOWAS leaders will do now. There was no sign of any military build-up at Niger's border with Nigeria, the likely point of entry by land.