(Ecofin Agency) - The communiqué of the PSC-AU comes at a time when the junta that seized power in Niger announces a three-year transition. This transition has been rejected by ECOWAS.
On August 22, the Peace and Security Council of the African Union (PSC-AU) published a communique informing of the conclusions of its closed-door meetings to discuss the situation in Niger. The pan-African executive body decided to suspend Niger from its membership.
"Acting under Article 7 of its Protocol, the Peace and Security Council, [...]Decides, in line with the relevant AU instruments, in particular, the AU Constitutive Act, the Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union and the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, to immediately suspend the participation of the Republic of Niger from all activities of the AU and its Organs and institutions until the effective restoration of constitutional order in the country," the communique reads.
The executive body also reaffirmed its full solidarity with the efforts of ECOWAS, which has decided to give priority to "diplomatic means" to re-establish constitutional order in Niger.
However, the PSC-AU did not explicitly endorse a military operation. The Council said it had "taken note of the ECOWAS decision to deploy a Standby Force".
In addition, the AU Commission was asked to "undertake an assessment of the economic, social and security implications of deploying a Standby Force in Niger and report back to Council." The Commission was also asked to "appoint and deploy a High Representative to support ECOWAS mediation efforts."
Given the widespread support for the junta, the PSC-AU also announced targeted sanctions and the application of individual punitive measures. To this end, a list of junta members and their military and civilian supporters will be drawn up.
Similarly, the Peace and Security Council "rejects any external interference by any actor or any country outside the Continent in the peace and security affairs in Africa including engagements by private military companies in the continent in line with the 1977 OAU Convention for the Elimination of Mercenarism in Africa."
The communiqué of the AU Peace and Security Council comes at a time when the putschists in power in Niamey have just begun a three-year transition deemed "unacceptable" by ECOWAS. Less than one month after the coup of July 26, 2023, they have already formed a new government.