Niger closes air space, fears intervention

The military rulers of Niger have closed the country’s airspace, warning that any attempt to violate it would meet with an “energetic and immediate response”.

Following the statement read out on national television on Sunday, there had been a pre-deployment of forces in two Central African countries in preparation for intervention, but did not give details.

“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.

“Niger’s armed forces and all our defence and security forces, backed by the unfailing support of our people, are ready to defend the integrity of our territory”, the country’s new rulers said.

This announcement came with the deadline from the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, for them to hand back power to the democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum.

ECOWAS last Sunday issued Niger’s new military rulers with an ultimatum to stand down within the week or face possible military intervention.

Credible News recalls that Bazoum was overthrown from power on July 26 when members of his own guard detained him at the presidency.

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