Niger Coup: Sanctions Shouldn’t Affect Humanitarian Operations – UN Tells ECOWAS

Source The Ghana Report

The United Nations (UN) has appealed to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to ensure that sanctions meted out to Niger to compel coup leaders to restore constitutional rule that does not affect humanitarian efforts.

At its first emergency summit held in Nigeria to address the coup in Niger, ECOWAS imposed several sanctions on Niger, including the closure of land and air borders and the freezing of accounts.

The failure of the military junta to reinstate President Mohamed Bazoum after several warnings has triggered ECOWAS to tighten its sanctions.

However, Martin Griffiths, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, observed that the sanctions could harm innocent citizens.

In a statement on August 17, he said the action by ECOWAS could affect procurement, transportation, and banking services in the country, which will affect the livelihood of the citizens and other natives.

In making reference to the most important things that shouldn’t be affected by the decision taken by ECOWAS, Mr Griffiths said all sanctions must;

“Ensure that the safe, timely and unimpeded movement of humanitarian cargo and personnel into and out of Niger, by air and by land, will not be impacted by the sanctions”.

“Guarantee the safety of humanitarian flights”.

‘Clarify that all commercial and financial transactions necessary to support the continuation of humanitarian operations in Niger remain permitted and proactively communicate this decision to financial institutions, relevant authorities and entities in the private sector”.

“Maintain the provision of utility services as necessary to support humanitarian operations”.

“Exclude from asset freezes all transactions needed to support the delivery of humanitarian assistance and activities necessary to address basic human needs of the population, including the processing or payment of funds, other financial assets, or economic resources, or the provision of goods and services to targeted actors or institutions under their control as part of legitimate humanitarian activities”.

“Ensure that humanitarian organizations and their personnel involved in such transactions do not incur any legal risk for their activities strictly related to the provision of humanitarian assistance to the population of Niger”.

However, the United Nations has promised to work together with ECOWAS in this political crisis to ensure that the population of Niger who has been affected receive the necessary humanitarian assistance.

Find the UN’s full statement below.

Download (PDF, 161KB)

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