Niger’s Prime Minister, Zeine says country will overcome sanctions

New Prime Minister of Niger Republic, Lamine Zeine has described the sanctions imposed on the military junta by Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, as an “unfair challenge.”

He added that his country would overcome them.

Zeine, who was appointed by the junta a week ago, said on Monday that Niger was interested in economic cooperation with ECOWAS.

Niger’s military on July 26, ousted democratically-elected President Mohamed Bazoum.

The military suspended the constitution and appointed a transitional government.

Shortly afterwards, ECOWAS imposed sanctions on the new military junta and demanded an immediate return to constitutional order.

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It also activated a standby force for a possible military intervention in Niger.

On Sunday, the junta signaled its willingness to negotiate with ECOWAS after a visit by a Nigerian mediation group of Islamic clerics.

Zeine also expressed confidence about possible negotiations with ECOWAS and neighbouring Nigeria, which had led the crackdown on Niger’s rulers.

“We have a great interest in preserving this important and historic relationship,” Zeine said, stressing the original background of ECOWAS as an economic group to increase prosperity in West Africa.

“If, however, we find that instead of this economic solidarity, the political and military principle comes to the fore, we can only regret that,” according to dpa.

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