Coup sanctions push Niger into debt crisis

Niger, one of the world’s poorest countries, has accumulated more than 480 million euros of unpaid debt since the coup on July 26.

Niger failed to pay 13.4 billion CFA francs (about 20.5 million euros) of debt as consequence of the sanctions imposed on the country due to the July 2023 coup d’état, reported this Monday the debt management agency of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA, in French).

This is the latest in a series of debt defaults by Niger, one of the world’s poorest countries, which has accumulated more than 480 million euros of unpaid debt since the coup on July 26.

The UMOA-Titres agency, based in Dakar, said that “the confirmation of the non-payment of the amounts due on 02/16/2024 by the State of Niger to the main amortization title for a total amount of CFA 13.4 billion “.

The agency noted that “this payment incident happens in a context where the State of Niger is under sanctions adopted by the Conference of Heads of State and Government of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU)”.

UMOA-Titres also said that “this situation is being monitored closely” in cooperation with the relevant institutions.

Niger was suspended from the regional financial market and the regional central bank by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and WAEMU, after the July 26, 2023 military coup that toppled President Mohamed Bazoum.

On January 28, the coup governments of Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso declared their exit from ECOWAS, claiming that this organization is “under the influence of foreign powers”, has violated its “founding principles” and “has become a threat to its Member States”.

In a joint statement issued by the Presidency of Niger, the three countries criticized that the organization, which they have been members of for 49 years, also inflicted “inhuman” sanctions that have worsened their poverty.

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