Yesterday, the European Union (EU) approved legislation that allows it to sanction people and entities responsible for the crisis and rights violations in Niger, following the coup d’état that deposed President Mohamed Bazoum.
The EU now has “the necessary instrument to impose restrictions on individuals and entities responsible for threatening the peace, stability and security of Niger, for undermining the constitutional order, democracy and the rule of law, or for being responsible for violations or abuses of human rights”, according to the statement released by the European Council and cited by AFP.
Restrictive measures may consist of freezing assets and prohibiting the provision of funds to individuals and entities, as well as prohibiting natural persons from traveling to the European Union.
“With the decision, the EU reinforces its support for the efforts of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and sends a clear message: military coups have costs”, declared the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy , Josep Borrell, quoted in the statement. “In order to safeguard the timely provision of humanitarian assistance or activities that support basic human needs in Niger, this new regime includes a humanitarian exemption”, explained the High Representative, who cited Resolution 2664 (2022) of the United Nations Security Council, which guarantees this support to civilians. A coalition of countries, led by Nigeria, threatened to intervene militarily to reestablish constitutional order in the country, but this intention was stopped, due to the danger of triggering a regional conflict, due to the fact that Mali, Burkina Faso and the Republic of Guinea are governed by military junta.
In September, Josep Borrell, had spoken out in favor of accelerating the imposition of sanctions against those responsible for the military coup and called on the EU to “not show signs of opening that could reinforce the military regime”. To date, the President Bazoum, who refused to resign following the military coup, remains detained in the Presidential Palace, along with his wife and son.