« Niger’s military junta reopened the country’s airspace to commercial flights on Monday following several weeks of closure due to the military takeover of the country. Officials from the junta could be seen touring Niamey airport while ground crews took up operations.
After overthrow the government in late July, junta leaders closed the country’s airspace and borders after ECOWAS threatened to intervene in Niger demanding the coup leaders to restore ousted President Mohamed Bazoum.
Niger’s land and air borders were closed by the military the day after they took power, then reopened with five neighbouring countries in early August including Algeria, Burkina Faso, Libya, Mali and Chad.
Niger became the latest country in West Africa where the army seized control on July 26. The coup installed General Abdourahamane Tchiani, the leader of the presidential guard, as head of state.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) imposed sanctions on Niger after the coup and threatened military action, while the United States, the European Union, Russia and international groups condemned the action.
However, massive protests in support of the military emerged on the streets of Niger’s capital Niamey. Neighbouring countries Mali and Burkina Faso cautioned against any intervention by other West African nations, warning that it would be a ‘declaration of war’ against them too.
It marks the fifth coup in Niger since gaining independence from France in 1960, and it is the seventh military takeover to occur in West and Central Africa within three years. »