The European Union (EU) has strongly condemned the arrest of ministers from the ousted government by Niger’s new junta and called for their immediate release. The EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, expressed concern over the continued arrests of ministers and senior officials from President Mohamed Bazoum’s government, following the recent coup in Niger.
President Mohamed Bazoum’s party, the Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism (PNDS), has also voiced its concerns, warning that the country is at risk of descending into a “dictatorial and totalitarian regime” after a series of arrests. The party denounced the “abusive arrests” of four ministers, including the Interior, Petroleum, Mines, and Transport ministers, as well as the head of its national executive committee.
The European Union views Niger as a crucial pillar of stability in the volatile Sahel region and has condemned the coup. In response to the putsch, the EU suspended its budgetary aid to Niamey and threatened further sanctions.
President Bazoum, a Western ally, was ousted on July 26 by the elite presidential guard. His election just over two years ago marked Niger’s first peaceful transition of power since gaining independence. However, the coup has raised concerns about the country’s political stability and future.
Niger is one of the world’s poorest countries, despite its uranium resources. The nation has been grappling with attacks from groups linked to the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda, making it the third country in the region to experience a coup since 2020, following Mali and Burkina Faso.
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