“The social cost was too high”

Heads of member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) meeting in Abuja on Saturday decided to lift the sanctions imposed on Niamey after the military regime took over. A particularly motivated decision” humanitarian reasons

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Following the decision of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), meeting at an extraordinary summit in Abuja on Saturday February 24, approx. All official and financial restrictions All but personal and political sanctions against Niami will now be lifted.

Concretely, this arbitration will lead to the end of the closure of land and air borders between Niger and the countries of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) and ECOWAS, the end of the ban on flights by Niger over the UEMOA zone, as well as the end of all trade between the UEMOA countries and Niger. END OF SUSPENSION OF TRANSACTIONS. Above all, the decision marks the end of the stabilization of the financial and financial assets of Niger State at the Central Bank of West African States (Bceao), lists our regional correspondent, Serge Daniel.

A political choice for the existence of ECOWAS

Selection by Ecowas The move this weekend raises questions, especially since Nigerian President Mohammed Bazoum’s request for release was discussed before the sanctions were lifted. But simply put, Ecovas’ backs were against the wall. Sanctions affect all relevant populations; They became unpopular because they were supposed to be used to bring down the junta, which was not the case.

Then the situation changed when Niger shares with Mali and Burkina Faso Knocking on the door of Ecovas. A new balance of power has established itself, and since the return of these countries within the organization is desired, ECOWAS has “ sweet eyes » in Niger and, by extension, in Mali and Burkina Faso.

Ecowas He staked his existence on this issue : The Ivorian president, Alassane Ouattara, was for appeasement; The Togolese president, Faure Gnasimbe, openly called for the lifting of the sanctions, not forgetting the Beninese, Patrice Talon, who, during a closed session of heads of state in Abuja, used this expression: “ Let’s swallow the snake, we need people’s ecovas before sanctions. »

The extreme poverty rate in Niger exceeds 40%

This decision was also motivated” humanitarian reasons » Because the sanctions have hit this Sahelian country hard with extreme poverty rates According to the World Bank over 40%. Henceforth, with the re-opening of borders and Nigerian airspace as well as the authorization of financial transactions between ECOWAS countries and Niger, all economic activities will resume.

For economist Ibrahim Adamo Luche, it is therefore a vice that is being loosed around the Nigerian people. ” Undeniably, the social cost was very high and in addition, there was loss of human life following power cuts, along with supply chain disruptions, which led to drug shortages in particular. All this had undeniable consequences », he explains on the microphone Christina Okello.

Now, what will change is the normalization of relations, and therefore the gradual resumption of trafficking, especially between Benin and Niger. This will result in the resumption of supply of goods that have been suspended since the entry into force of the sanctions, which will naturally ease many things in the daily lives of the Nigerian population. That said, in terms of results, it remains mixed in the sense that the reasons for which the sanctions were imposed were not partially satisfied by the junta. On the other hand, it was pragmatism, “real politics”, that ended up winning: the stakes were getting higher and the population pressure was getting stronger and stronger. », analyzes the economist.

Also readECOWAS meeting in Abuja: Behind the scenes of the summit

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