Algeria proposes six-month transition period for Niger coup leaders to return power to civilians

The junta in Niger Republic, on Sunday, announced closure of the country’s airspace as tension builds following the country’s coup.

The decision follows the expiration of a one-week ultimatum issued to it by ECOWAS to return power to the deposed president, Mohamed Bazoum.

Amadou Abdramane, spokesperson for the junta, said while reading a statement on Sunday, that they were closing the country’s airspace until further notice due to “the threat of intervention”.

He said, “In the face of the threat of intervention, which is becoming clearer through the preparation of neighbouring countries, Niger’s airspace is closed from this day on Sunday for all aircraft until further notice.

“Niger’s armed forces and all our defence and security forces, backed by the unfailing support of our people, are ready to defend the integrity of our territory.”

He warned that any attempt to violate the country’s airspace would be met with an “energetic and immediate response”.

The military warned that “any state involved will be considered co-belligerent”.

The move comes as the Economic Community of West African States’ (ECOWAS) deadline for the release of President Mohamed Bazoum expires.

At a meeting on July 30 presided over by President Bola Tinubu, ECOWAS chairperson, the organisation issued sanctions against Niger, asking the military junta to reinstate the ousted president.

ECOWAS said it would take all necessary measures, including the use of force, if Bazoum is not reinstated within a week of the meeting.

The junta has, however, stayed put, and ECOWAS has yet to decide on its next move.

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