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Niger junta accuses UN chief of obstructing General Assembly


Niger's coup leaders claimed that the United Nations' head hindered their involvement in the General Assembly, potentially undermining efforts to resolve the crisis in their country.


President Mohamed Bazoum of Niger was overthrown by rebel elite soldiers on July 26, and he has been under house arrest with his family ever since. Negotiations to reinstate civilian rule have not yielded results yet, as the junta insists on a three-year transition while the Economic Community of West African States urges the immediate return of the democratically elected Bazoum.


The coup has faced strong criticism from Western governments and global organizations like the UN, especially since the General Assembly of world leaders is taking place in New York this week.


The military, in a news release broadcasted on public television, accused UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres of deviating from his mission by impeding Niger's complete involvement in the 78th session of the UN General Assembly. They condemned the UN leader's deceitful actions, which they believe could undermine efforts to resolve the crisis in our country.


The new leaders of Niger have selected Bakary Yaou Sangare, who previously served as Niger's ambassador to the UN, as their representative for the gathering.


However, a diplomatic source revealed that the overthrown government also submitted an application to represent Niamey. According to Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric, in the event of competing credentials, the matter is deferred to the Credentials Committee of the General Assembly for deliberation. Since the committee will not convene until later, no representative from Niger has been added to the speakers' list.


The junta strongly condemns Mr. Guterres' clear interference in the internal affairs of Niger, asserting its sovereignty. Concerns about the Sahel region persist. Niger, one of the world's poorest nations, is the fourth West African country to experience a coup since 2020, following Burkina Faso, Guinea, and Mali.


Bazoum's ousting has raised concerns globally about the Sahel region, which is grappling with increasing jihadist insurgencies associated with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group. Sanctions imposed on the region since the coup have resulted in scarcity of food and medicine, skyrocketing prices, and electricity blackouts due to Nigeria cutting off supplies. Senegal's President Macky Sall believes that a diplomatic solution is still possible and urges the coup leaders to avoid military intervention. The military leaders of Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger recently signed a mutual defense pact to establish collective defense and assistance for their populations.


Bazoum's removal has raised concerns worldwide about the Sahel region, which is facing increasing jihadist insurgencies connected to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group. Due to regional sanctions following the coup, Niger is experiencing scarcity of food and medicine, soaring prices, and electricity blackouts caused by Nigeria cutting off supplies. Senegal's President Macky Sall expressed optimism that a diplomatic solution in Niger is still possible and urged the coup leaders to avoid military intervention. The military leaders of Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger recently signed a mutual defense pact to establish collective defense and mutual assistance for the benefit of their populations.

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