The European Union (EU) has initiated measures to impose sanctions on members of Niger's military junta, marking a significant development three months after they seized power in a coup.
On Monday, the EU Council revealed that it had taken steps to enact a framework that would empower it to impose sanctions on "individuals and entities found responsible for actions that pose a threat to the peace, stability, and security of Niger."
The council explicitly stated that these sanctions will target individuals who undermine Niger's constitutional order, democracy, or rule of law. Additionally, those who engage in human rights violations or abuses will also face sanctions.
The range of sanctions will encompass travel bans, asset freezes, and restrictions on providing funds to those who are sanctioned.
EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell emphasized the EU's support for the efforts of the West African bloc, Ecowas, and sent a clear message that military coups come at a cost: "With today’s decision, the EU strengthens its support to Ecowas’ efforts and sends a clear message: military coups bear costs."
However, it's important to note that the EU has left room for humanitarian exemptions to asset freeze measures.
The European Union's decision comes in the wake of sanctions already imposed on Niger by Ecowas and the suspension of aid by the United States government.