The European Union, in a statement on Saturday, said it would not recognise Niger’s putschists who seized power last week and that it was suspending security cooperation with the jihadist-hit country.
The presidential guard had detained democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum and confined him to his official residence in the capital, Niamey, on Wednesday, in the latest coup to strike Africa’s Sahel region.
“The European Union does not recognise and will not recognise the authorities from the putsch in Niger,” the bloc’s chief diplomat, Josep Borrell, said in a statement.
“All cooperation in the security field is suspended indefinitely with immediate effect,” in addition to the end to budgetary aid, he added.
Bazoum “remains the only legitimate president of Niger,” the statement said, calling for his immediate release and holding the coup leaders to account for the safety of him and his family.
Borrell said the EU was ready to support future decisions taken by West Africa’s regional bloc, “including the adoption of sanctions”.
Meanwhile, a human rights organisation under the aegis of Citizens Action for Good Governance, on Saturday, called on leaders of the Economic Community of West African States and the international community to impose targeted sanctions on the leaders of the recent military coup in Niger Republic.
While condemning the coup d’etat carried out by the military in the Republic of Niger, the organisation described it as an attempt to subvert democracy and the rule of law.
The National Coordinator of CAGG, Mallam Nazir Galadanchi, at a press conference in Abuja, applauded the steps taken so far by the Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, President Bola Tinubu.
He said, “This coup d’etat is an affront to the existing democracy in the country because President Mohammed Bazoum who has been held by troops from the presidential guard since early on Wednesday was duly elected and recognised by the international community, and whoever that topples his government forcefully is an enemy of the people and democracy.
“We at CAGG stand with the people of Niger Republic and demand that President Mohamed Bazoum be released immediately along with his family and calls for the immediate restoration of democracy in Niger Republic.
“Furthermore, CAGG calls on the international community to impose targeted sanctions on individuals and entities involved in the coup to demonstrate the collective commitment to protect democracy and deter any future attempts to undermine it.”
Meanwhile, the Foundation for Peace Professionals also known as PeacePro also condemned the latest coup in the Niger Republic.
The group, in a statement by its Executive Director, Mr Abdulrazaq Hamzat, said the coup and the initial public excitement it generated in the country might be a temporary feeling.
Hamzat maintained that while a military coup is condemnable, the constituted civil authorities in the continent must demonstrate the capacity to protect the human and territorial integrity of the continent.
The group also urged the African Union and ECOWAS to make it a mission to end the presence of foreign military forces in the continent within the next 24 months.
The military in Niger sacked the civilian government of President Mohammed Bazoum who was elected in 2021 in the first civilian handover of power.