UN warns of 'deteriorating security situation' in region in wake of Niger coup

UN warns of 'deteriorating security situation' in region in wake of Niger coup

‘The unfolding crisis, if not addressed will exacerbate the deteriorating security situation in the region,’ says UN official

By Betul Yuruk

UNITED NATIONS (AA) - The UN warned Tuesday of a “deteriorating security situation” in West Africa amid an ongoing coup in Niger.

“The unfolding crisis, if not addressed will exacerbate the deteriorating security situation in the region,” said Leonardo Santos Simao, the head of UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel. “It will also negatively impact the development and lives of the population in a country where 4.3 million people need humanitarian assistance.”

''Niger and the region do not need coup d'états,” he said.

Simao said the UN is not engaged in negotiations so far, but it is fully supporting all efforts to restore the democratic order in that country.

A group of soldiers calling themselves the National Council for the Safeguarding of the Country detained President Mohamed Bazoum last week.

UN chief Antonio Guterres also expressed deep concern for the reported arrest of several members of the government, said deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq.

Guterres urgently calls for the strict adherence to Niger’s international human rights obligations and the prompt restoration of constitutional order, he said.

US Ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas Greenfield, who is currently presiding the rotating Security Council for August, said she spoke to Bazoum last Thursday.

“He sounded good. He was under house arrest in his home with his family. He did not sound distressed, but I know that the situation he is in is currently quite stressful,” she said.

Bazoum was elected in 2021, in Niger’s first democratic power transition since it gained independence from French colonial rule in 1960.

The leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) bloc issued an ultimatum Sunday to the junta to reinstate the democratically-elected president in one week or risk military intervention from regional countries.

The West African bloc also announced the “immediate” suspension of “all commercial and financial transactions” with Niger.




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