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ECOWAS removes sanctions imposed on Niger

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has officially lifted all commercial and economic sanctions that were previously imposed on the Republic of Niger.

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The sanctions were instituted following the deposition of Niger's democratically elected leader, Mohammed Bazoum, last year, triggering a stern response from ECOWAS, which had declared a zero-tolerance policy for unconstitutional changes in government.

Last year, Niger, along with Mali and Burkina Faso, announced their withdrawal from the regional bloc, citing what they deemed to be inhumane sanctions.

However, during an extraordinary summit held on February 24 in Abuja, Nigeria, ECOWAS declared the removal of all sanctions on Niger. The announcement also emphasized the expectation that established protocols for free movement within the bloc would remain unaffected.

Omar Alieu Touray, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, addressed the media during a news conference, elucidating that the decision to lift sanctions aimed to address existential threats facing the region and further called upon the three junta-led nations, including Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso, that had exited the bloc to reconsider their decisions.

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Nigeria's President, Bola Tinubu, who serves as the chairperson of the ECOWAS Heads of State, emphasized the need for leaders to reassess their approach to constitutional order, stressing that the existential threats faced by the sub-region demand a reconsideration of their strategies.

The decision to lift sanctions on Niger reflects a diplomatic effort by ECOWAS to foster regional stability while urging unity among member nations.

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