Niger opens land borders with Nigeria

Niger Republic opened its land borders with Nigeria in Konni on Friday, March 22.

This comes barely a week after the Nigeria Customs Service opened the Illela land border between both countries, following directives by President Bola Tinubu.

Nigeria also restored power supply to the landlocked West African country, which is currently led by a military junta.

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The opening of the Konni border was confirmed by a resident of Konni, who spoke to journalists on Friday and was quoted as describing the action as commendable.

“It was our collective prayer that this border too, should be reopened after the Nigeria side was declared open. I want to believe that this will definitely help a lot in the improvement of the economies of these two countries, as it will facilitate more trading activities between Nigeria and Niger Republic,” he was quoted as saying.

The border between both countries had first been closed in August 2023 as part of sanctions on the Niger Republic by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), under Tinubu’s leadership, following a military coup that ousted the country’s former President Mohamed Bazoum.




     

     

    The Community also imposed a no-flight zone on the Niger Republic, cut off electricity supply from member-states, mobilised international support for the implementation of the provisions of the ECOWAS decisions and reactivated the border drilling exercise.

    Similar sanctions were placed on Mali and Burkina Faso, as both countries are also being run by military governments who forcefully took over power from incumbent presidents.

    However, ECOWAS lifted the sanctions placed on the three countries in February 2024 based on humanitarian considerations.

    The ICIR also reports that the sanctions were lifted to placate the three countries which had pulled out of the ECOWAS and had concluded plans to form a regional body.

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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