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Niger’s junta refuses entry to negotiators, allies appeal to UN



Niger’s junta

Tensions remain high in the aftermath of a coup in Niger Republic as the military junta refused entry to a negotiating mission planned for Tuesday by the United Nations, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union (AU).

The military governments of Mali and Burkina Faso have called on the UN Security Council to prevent military action against the putschists in their neighbouring country Niger.

ECOWAS threatened this as a possible reaction to the coup d’état at the end of July in which the military seized power in Niger, suspended the constitution, and imprisoned the president.

In Tuesday’s letter, Malian Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop and Burkinese Foreign Minister Olivia Rouamba addressed the UN’s most powerful body as well as the African Union.

“The transitional governments of Burkina Faso and the Republic of Mali appeal to the primary responsibility of the (UN) Security Council as guarantor of international peace and security to prevent, by all means at its disposal, armed action against a sovereign state, the consequences of which would be unforeseeable in their magnitude,” the letter reads.


The aim is “to avoid, in addition to the deterioration of the security situation with the multiplication and spread of terrorist groups, a humanitarian tragedy, which would add to the difficulties of a population legitimately waiting for support.”

Both Mali and Burkina Faso are currently suspended from ECOWAS following coups and have clearly sided with the military rulers in Niger.

They declared that they would not support the ECOWAS sanctions and that any military action would be seen as a “declaration of war” against their own states.

Mali’s Diop caused a stir at the UN Security Council in New York in June when he called for the immediate withdrawal of the UN peacekeeping mission that has been stationed in Mali for a decade.

Coming from Libya and northern Mali, Islamist terrorist groups have been spreading in the three bordering countries since 2012.


The U.S. government said it continues to hope for a diplomatic solution after the coup in Niger but at the same time it is realistic, U.S. State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said in Washington on Tuesday.

U.S. diplomat Victoria Nuland spoke with members of the junta in the capital Niamey on Monday, but was not allowed to meet either the detained President Mohamed Bazoum or the military ruler General Abdourahamane Tchiani.

Tchiani received a delegation from Mali and Burkina Faso on Monday, who assured him of their support.

The junta announced a prime minister and other posts late on Monday night.

Ahead of the special ECOWAS summit on the coup in Niger, Nigeria has underscored its hope for a negotiated solution.


President Bola Tinubu believes “diplomacy is the best way forward” to resolve the crisis, his spokesman Ajuri Ngelale said on Tuesday.

“This represents “the consensus position of the ECOWAS heads of states,” he said.

Tinubu is currently ECOWAS chair. At the summit, “far-reaching decisions will be taken concerning the next steps the regional bloc will take,” the spokesman said.

He added that “no options have been taken off the table.”

The federation of currently 11 states plans to meet in Nigeria’s capital Abuja on Thursday.


The military chiefs of the ECOWAS countries had presented a plan for a possible intervention last week.

Besides Nigeria, Benin, Senegal, and Ivory Coast have declared their readiness for military intervention.

The French broadcaster RFI reported on Tuesday that the plans included a force of 25,000 soldiers.

The military governments of Mali, Burkina Faso, and Guinea, which were suspended by ECOWAS after coups, support the putschists in Niger.

Malian Minister of Territorial Administration Abdoulaye Maïga reaffirmed after his meeting with General Tchiani in Niger on Monday “the active, effective and full participation of Mali and Burkina Faso in legitimate defence operations in the event of an ECOWAS attack on Niger.”


On July 26, officers of the presidential guard in Niger ousted the democratically elected Bazoum.

The commander of the elite unit, Tchiani, subsequently appointed himself the new ruler, then the putschists suspended the constitution and dissolved all constitutional institutions.


Coup attempt in Burkina Faso



The junta in Burkina Faso, which toppled a military regime to gain power, has announced that there was a coup attempt.

In a statement, the junta said an attempt by some army officers to seize power and plunge the country into chaos was thwarted.

“The dark intention of attacking the institutions of the Republic and plunging our country in chaos… investigations will help unmask the instigators of this plot.”

“Officers and other alleged actors involved in this attempt at destabilisation have been arrested and others are actively sought,” read the statement from Rimtalba Jean Emmanuel Ouedraogo, spokesman for the regime.

The military government said it would seek to shed all possible light on this plot, adding that it regretted “that officers whose oath is to defend their homeland have strayed into an undertaking of this nature”.


It said while four people had been detained, two were on the run.

The statement added that the regime launched investigation based on “credible allegations about a plot against state security implicating officers.”

“We regret that officers whose oath is to defend their homeland have strayed into an undertaking of this nature, which aims to hinder the Burkinabe people’s march for sovereignty and total liberation from the terrorist hordes trying to enslave them.”

The junta came to power after two military coups last year, triggered in part by a worsening insurgency by armed groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State that has destabilised Burkina Faso and its neighbours.

Captain Ibrahim Traoré, the junta leader, seized power on September 30, 2022, the country’s second coup in eight months.


From 2020 till date, there have been seven coups across Africa.

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Manufacturers sack 3,567 workers, unsold goods hit ₦‎272billion – MAN



No fewer than 3,567 jobs were lost in the manufacturing sector in the first half of 2023 according to figures obtained by The PUNCH from the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria.

MAN disclosed this in its half yearly review of the economy, which was released on Tuesday.

According to the report, employment generation in the manufacturing sector declined to 6,428 in the first half of 2023.

This was 32.8 per cent reduction in employment generation capacity when compared with 9,559 jobs generated in the first half of 2022.

The report read partly, “In the same vein, a total of 3,567 jobs were lost in the first half of 2023, indicating 1,855 more jobs lost when compared with the 1,709 jobs lost in the corresponding half of 2022, and 850 more jobs lost when compared with 2708 jobs lost in the last half of 2022.”


MAN said the decline in the number of jobs created in the sector during the period further highlighted the unfriendly business environment, resulting from the hasty policies and residual effect of the currency redesign policy that led to the naira crunch.

The report also stated that the inventory of unsold finished products in the manufacturing sector increased to N271.9bn during the first half of 2023, compared to N187bn in the corresponding period of 2022.

This indicated a substantial rise of N84.88bn or 45.4 per cent over the timeframe. It also showed N11.64bn or 4.1 per cent decline when compared with the inventory value of N283.6bn recorded in the second half of 2022.

“This increase in inventory can be attributed to a weakened purchasing power of the consumers, brought about by diminishing real household income resulting from the ongoing escalation of inflationary pressures, compounded by the scarcity of naira in the first quarter of the year and the aftermath of the subsidy removal,” the report said.

It noted that subsidy removal and exchange rate unification policy towards the end of the first half left the economy on the brink of uncertainty, caused a ripple effect that further eroded investors’ confidence.


MAN stated that, “As a result, businesses and foreign investors are increasingly wary of committing capital, thereby hindering economic growth and prospects for recovery.

“The combined effect of these is the resultant higher inflationary pressure, which fuels the cost of production, reducing consumers’ purchasing power and having a greater impact on the manufacturers.”

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