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HomeAfrica NewsNiger NewsNIGER: AIRSPACE CLOSES AS MILITARY RULERS REFUSE TO REINSTATE PRESIDENT

NIGER: AIRSPACE CLOSES AS MILITARY RULERS REFUSE TO REINSTATE PRESIDENT

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Niger’s military rulers announced on Sunday that they had closed the country’s airspace, warning that any attempt to breach it would meet with an “energetic and immediate response”.

“Faced with the threat of intervention, which is becoming clearer through the preparation of neighbouring countries, Niger’s airspace is closed from this day on Sunday … for all aircraft until further notice,” the country’s new rulers said in a statement.

Niger edged closer to conflict on Sunday as the deadline threatening military intervention set by the Economic Community of West African States expired.

Ecowas wants the commanders of the coup, which removed the democratically elected president Mohamed Bazoum and installed Gen Abdourahamane Tchiani on July 30, to step down.

It is also demanding the release of Mr Bazoum, who said in an opinion piece in The Washington Post last week that he was being held hostage.

Ecowas countries on July 30 closed borders with Niger and later set August 6 as a deadline to restore democracy.

The bloc has also backed imposing sanctions and Nigeria, which holds the rotating presidency, has cut off electricity exports to the country.

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