ECOWAS Lifts Economic Sanctions On Niger Republic, Three Others

Temitope Mustapha, Abuja 

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The Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS has lifted, with immediate effect, economic sanctions on the Niger Republic.

Reeling out the sanctions lifted, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Omar Touray, said all political sanctions imposed on Niger are still in place.

Touray stated in the communiqué issued after the Extra Summit of the ECOWAS in Abuja that the closure of land and air borders between ECOWAS countries and Niger is now lifted.

According to him, “But there are targeted sanctions as well as political sanctions. That remains in force. I think our sanctions regime should be assessed correctly. The list I have given relates mainly to Niger because all the other countries still have political sanctions on them.”

When asked if other sanctions were lifted, Touray added that individual sanctions as well as political sanctions remain in place in the Niger Republic.

Touray also said that the no-fly zone for all commercial flights to and from ECOWAS countries and Niger is to be lifted.

According to the ECOWAS President, “Suspension of all commercial and financial transactions between ECOWAS member states and Niger is to be lifted.

Freezing of all service transactions, including utility services, is to be lifted.

He further disclosed that the freezing of assets of the Republic of Niger in the ECOWAS Central Bank is to be lifted.

“Freezing of assets of Niger State and the state enterprises and parastatals in commercial banks is to be lifted.

Touray added that the suspension of Niger from all financial assistance and transactions with all financial institutions, particularly the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development, is to be lifted.

On Travel Ban

The ECOWAS Commission President also made it known that the travel ban on Niger government officials and their family members is also to be lifted.

According to Touray, these decisions on the lifting of sanctions on Niger are based on humanitarian considerations, especially as the month of Ramadan approaches.

He added that the authority has also resolved to lift the sanctions regarding the recruitment of Malian citizens in statutory and professional positions within ECOWAS.

On Guinea

Omar Touray said that ECOWAS resolved to lift financial and economic sanctions on the Republic of Guinea.

The Head of the ECOWAS Commission added that the Authority of the regional bloc has also instructed the President of the Commission to invite Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali, and Guinea, to attend the technical and consultative meetings of ECOWAS as well as all security-related meetings.

So the border closures, the commercial sanctions and all that are all lifted and that is what the leaders have decided to do.

Now for other countries, political sanctions remain and that means they have limited ability to attend the ECOWAS Summit as well as ministerial sessions.”