Niger’s coup leaders have closed the country’s airspace in response to rejecting an ultimatum from West African states. The ultimatum demanded the reinstatement of deposed President Mohamed Bazoum or risk military intervention. The closure of the airspace was announced late on Sunday.
The coup leaders, known as the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland (CNSP), received support from tens of thousands of coup supporters at a stadium in Niger’s capital, Niamey.
The closure of the airspace was attributed to the threat of military intervention from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
The CNSP spokesperson, Amadou Abdramane, stated that neighbouring countries were preparing for intervention, leading to the closure of Niger’s airspace for all aircraft until further notice.
The coup in Niger, which occurred on July 26, is the seventh in West and Central Africa in three years and has had significant implications for the Sahel region, which is already dealing with armed groups associated with al-Qaeda and ISIS.