THE European Union (EU) has refused to recognise the military authorities that took power in Niger Republic after ousting Mohamed Bazoum, the country’s democratically elected President.
Last Friday, the head of Niger’s Presidential Guards, Omar Tchiani, declared himself the new leader of the uranium-rich country, two days after his forces detained Bazoum.
Bazoum hasn’t resigned and African and Western powers have condemned the coup.
The development has also resulted in sanctions from international bodies and escalated tensions in the West African country.
In a statement issued in Brussels on Saturday, July 29, the EU High Representative, Josep Borrell, said the suspension of the Constitution and dissolution of democratic institutions weakened the state and the people of Niger.
Borrell said: “The European Union does not recognise and will not recognise the authorities resulting from the putsch in Niger. President Bazoum was democratically elected.”
The EU envoy insisted that Bazoum remains the only legitimate President of the Sahel country and asked that he be released without condition or delay.
“The EU holds the putschists responsible for his safety and that of his family.
“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 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,” Borrell added.
The European Union earlier suspended financial support and cooperation on security with Niger.
Announcing the sanction, Borrell said: “In addition to the immediate cessation of budget support, all cooperation actions in the domain of security are suspended indefinitely with immediate effect.”
The African Union has also issued a 15-day ultimatum to the military officers to return to the barracks and restore the democratic constitution and suspended institutions.