Niger's military junta on Friday severed diplomatic relations with four countries, including its southern neighbor Nigeria, which earlier in the morning disconnected electricity export to the country following its delegation's failure to meet the coup leader.
“The functions of the extraordinary and plenipotentiary ambassadors of the Republic of Niger to France, Nigeria, Togo, and the United States are terminated,” a spokesperson for Niger’s coup leader, Col Maj. Amadou Abdramane, announced in a broadcast televised by local media.
Nigeria shut off its electricity supply to Niger on Friday, sending parts of the country into darkness. Niger buys 70% of its power from the Nigerian Electricity Company.
On Thursday, Niger's coup leaders denied access to a Nigerian delegation sent by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to the country. Former Nigerian military head of state Gen Abubakar Abdulsalami led the delegation.
Nigeria's president, who also serves as the chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), has called for military action against the Niger mutineers and the reinstatement of President Mohamed Bazoum.
Ambassador Francisca Omayuli, spokesman for the Nigerian Foreign Ministry, did not immediately respond to Anadolu's request for the country's reaction to the current diplomatic standoff following the Niger decision.
However, a senior constitutional lawyer Onyeama Okei urged the Nigerian government to recall its ambassador and other staff at the embassy in Niamey, Niger’s capital.
He did, however, advise the Nigerian government to let the people of Niger deal with their internal problems.
"Nigerians cannot cry more than the people of Niger. While we work to ensure that democracy thrives in African countries, we must recognize citizens' right to select what they want," he told Anadolu.
On July 26, a group of soldiers calling themselves the National Council for the Safeguarding of the Country (CNSP) delivered a statement on Nigerien state television shortly after detaining Bazoum, saying they took the step due to the "deteriorating security situation and bad governance."
Bazoum was elected in 2021 in Niger’s first democratic power transition since it gained independence from French colonial rule in 1960.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.