‘Liberation of the people from France’s dictatorship’ – welcomed by the Niger trade unions

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Russian flag is raised on a demonstration in support of the coup in Niger

THE UNION of Workers’ Trade Unions of Niger (USTN) has condemned the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the West African Monetary and Economic Union (UEMOA) for their sanctions and called for lifting them.

‘We strongly condemn the tough sanctions imposed by ECOWAS and UEMOA on Niger and demand that they be lifted immediately,’ Niger’s RTN state television channel quoted the union’s statement.

‘We also condemn Nigeria’s actions, which cut off electricity supplies to our country in violation of the bilateral contract.’

The union also expressed support for the country’s military who came to power in Niger and ‘liberated the people from France’s dictatorship’.

In late July, a group of military rebels in Niger announced the removal of President Bazoum.

They then established the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland (Conseil national pour la sauvegarde de la patrie, CNSP), headed by General Abdourahmane Tchiani, to run the country. Bazoum remains detained at his residence.

ECOWAS leaders demanded the rebels in Niger, which is a member of this organisation, release Bazoum and warned about a ‘military resolution’ of the situation if he is not released.

However, neighbouring Mali and Burkina Faso said they would consider any ECOWAS intervention as an attack on themselves.

Since the ECOWAS ultimatum was not implemented, the organisation’s leaders gathered for another emergency meeting in the Nigerian capital city of Abuja on Thursday August 10 to express their commitment to ‘the restoration of the constitutional order’ in Niger.

Upon his return from the summit, Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara said that the ECOWAS leaders had agreed to launch a military operation in Niger as soon as possible.

However, the parliament of the ECOWAS has been unable to come to terms over the invasion into Niger amid serious disagreements in its ranks, it was reported late on Saturday.