West African Leaders Convene in Abuja Amidst Spiralling Crisis in Niger

West African Leaders Convene in Abuja Amidst Spiralling Crisis in Niger

West African leaders are set to convene in Nigeria's capital, Abuja, on Thursday to discuss the ongoing crisis in Niger. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) had demanded that the military junta in Niger reinstate the ousted president, Mohamed Bazoum, or face the threat of military intervention.

However, the junta defied the deadline and closed Niger's airspace, vowing to defend the country. ECOWAS has condemned the coup and is considering military action, but its unity has been fractured by promises of support from the ruling juntas in Mali and Burkina Faso. The closure of Niger's airspace has already disrupted flight routes, with Air France suspending flights to neighboring countries.

The international community, including the United States, European countries, and the African Union, have condemned the coup and called for the immediate restoration of democracy. The crisis in Niger has significant economic and strategic implications, as the country holds valuable uranium and oil reserves and plays a pivotal role in the fight against Islamist militants in the Sahel region.

The situation in Niger adds another layer of complexity to an already unstable region facing a humanitarian crisis and an Islamist insurgency. The outcome of the ECOWAS meeting and the response from neighboring countries will determine the next steps in resolving the crisis in Niger.

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