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UN says situation in Niger raises concern

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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday voiced concern over the failure to restore constitutional order in Niger.

   “The secretary-general is concerned over the continued detention of President (Mohammed) Bazoum and the failure so far to restore constitutional order in Niger,” said Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for Guterres.

   Guterres reiterated his full support for the ongoing mediation efforts of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). He emphasized the urgent need to ensure that life-saving humanitarian work continues unhindered, and that the UN Humanitarian Air Service, which provides a vital link to remote communities in Niger, is allowed to operate to and continue to serve those communities, said Haq.

   The UN secretary-general’s special representative for West Africa and the Sahel, Leonardo Santos Simao, has traveled to Nigeria to provide good offices support to regional stakeholders, he said.

   After the coup in Niger, ECOWAS gave a one-week ultimatum to the military junta, after whose expiration the regional bloc vowed to take all necessary measures, including the use of force, to restore constitutional order in Niger. The ultimatum has expired.

   “We’re well aware of the passage of that deadline. We’re monitoring the situation,” said Haq, adding that Santos Simao will be in touch with his ECOWAS counterparts. 

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