Sunday, September 24, 2023

Niger Junta Names Ex-Minister As New Prime Minister

Niger’s military leaders have named the former Economy and Finance Minister, Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine, as the country’s new Prime Minister.

We reported that the spokesman for the military junta, Colonel Major Amadou Adramane, made the announcement on television late Monday night.

According to a Nigerien media report, Zeine was formerly the minister of economy and finance for several years in the cabinet of then-President Mamadou Tandja, ousted in 2010, and most recently worked as an economist for the African Development Bank in Chad.

Recall that at the end of July, the military ousted the democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum and suspended the constitution in the West African country.

Following the development, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) asked the military rulers to relinquish power to Bazoum or face stiff sanctions.

However, the ultimatum from ECOWAS to the coup plotters to reinstate Bazoum expired on Sunday, hence the closure of airspace by the coup leaders.

Following the expiration of the ultimatum, the Heads of State and Governments of the ECOWAS member states will now meet in Abuja on Thursday to discuss how to proceed with the Niger situation.

Under Bazoum, Niger had been one of the last strategic partners of the West in the fight against the advance of Islamist terrorists in the Sahel.

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