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Factbox-What sanctions have been imposed on Niger since coup?

2023.07.31 12:46


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: General Abdourahmane Tiani, who was declared as the new head of state of Niger by leaders of a coup, arrives to meet with ministers in Niamey, Niger July 28, 2023. REUTERS/Balima Boureima/File Photo

By Bate Felix

DAKAR (Reuters) – Niger’s regional and Western partners have announced a series of sanctions against the country following last week’s coup. Niger is the world’s seventh-biggest producer of uranium, the radioactive metal widely used for nuclear energy and treating cancer. It is also one of the world’s poorest countries, receiving close to $2 billion a year in development assistance.

According to 2023 budget projections, of Niger’s total budget of 3,245 billion CFA francs ($5.53 billion) for the fiscal year, around 342.44 billion francs was expected to come from external budget support and loans.

Another 978.47 billion francs was supposed to come from project grants and loans from external partners. In total, more than $2.2 billion, or around 40% of its budget, was expected to came from external partners.

These sanctions have been imposed on Niger since the coup:

WEST AFRICA REGIONAL BLOC

The Economic Community of West African States and the West African Monetary and Economic Union have imposed some of the most stringent sanctions on Niger so far since the coup.

With immediate effect, the bloc has suspended all commercial transactions with Niger, frozen Niger’s state assets in the regional central bank, frozen assets of the state and state enterprises in commercial banks, and suspended all financial assistance with regional development banks.

The financial sanctions could lead to a default on Niger’s debt repayments.

On Monday, a planned 30 billion CFA francs ($51 million) bond issuance by Niger in the West African regional debt market was cancelled by the regional central bank following the imposition of sanctions. Niger had planned to raise 490 billion CFA francs ($834 million) from the regional debt market in 2023.

EUROPEAN UNION

The European Union, one of Niger’s biggest contributors, has suspended its financial support and cooperation on security with Niger with immediate effect.

The EU allocated 503 million euros ($554 million) from its budget to improve governance, education and sustainable growth in Niger over 2021-2024, according to its website.

FRANCE

France, another major partner of its former colony, suspended development aid and budget support with immediate effect, demanding a prompt return to constitutional order. French development aid for Niger was at around 120 million euros ($130 million) in 2022, and expected to be slightly higher this year.

France also has around 1,500 troops in Niger. It relied on Niger after it withdrew its counter insurgency troops from neighbouring Mali and Burkina Faso in 2021 and 2022, respectively.

UNITED STATES

The United States, a major donor of humanitarian and security aid, has warned that the military takeover in Niger could lead to the suspension of all cooperation.

So far in fiscal 2023, it has provided nearly $138 million in humanitarian assistance. There are about 1,100 U.S. troops in Niger, where the U.S. military operates from two bases.

(Additonal reporting by Daphne Psaledakis in Washington, Gabriela Baczynska in Brussels and Juliette Jabkhiro in Paris; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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