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Niger: The junta intends to end defense and security agreements with the European Union

The junta also said it was withdrawing the “consent granted for the deployment of an EU military partnership mission” in Niger known as “EUMPM”.


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Niger will put an end to the military partnership agreement concluded with the European Union and to the European civil mission Eucap Sahel Niger, active since 2012. This was declared by the military of the junta who took power in Niamey with the coup d'état of 26 last July. In a press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the military states that it wants to revoke the agreement stipulated by the State of Niger with the European Union relating to the European civilian mission “Eucap Sahel Niger”, for which 120 employees work in support of the security forces and the Nigerian authorities. The junta also said it was withdrawing the “consent granted for the deployment of an EU military partnership mission” in Niger known as “Eumpm”. This mission was launched last February "at the request of the Nigerian authorities" to "support the country in the fight against armed terrorist groups", we read on the website of the Council of the European Union. The junta also announces that it "decides to withdraw the privileges and immunities granted" in the framework of this mission, without providing further details. After the deposition of President Mohamed Bazoum, the army cut relations with the country's Western partners, primarily France, and entered the Russian orbit. Just today, on the occasion of the visit to Niamey of the Russian Deputy Defense Minister Junus-bek Yevkurov, the military concluded an agreement with Moscow which provides for the strengthening of military cooperation between the two countries. In Niamey Yevkurov was received by the Nigerien Defense Minister Salifou Modi and the leader of the junta Omar Tchiani, in a visit that follows the stop in Mali and Libya and is the first visit by a member of the Moscow government to Niger since last July when the coup d'état took place.

After the July coup and the subsequent expulsion of French military and diplomatic units from Niger, the Niamey junta concluded a military coalition, known as the Alliance of Sahel States, with the coup governments of Mali and Burkina Faso (Aes). Officially created last September 16, the agreement saw the foreign ministers of the three countries meet last week - the Nigerian Bakary Yaou Sangaré, the Malian Abdoulaye Diop, the Burkinabé Olivia Raggnaghnèwendé Rouamba - to give this alliance a political and diplomatic. The parties, we read in a statement from the Malian Foreign Ministry, are working on the adoption of additional protocols, the establishment of institutional and legal bodies of the Alliance and the "definition of political measures and diplomatic coordination". Initially, the AES was born as a defense pact between Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso, who decided to pool their military resources to fight rebel or jihadist groups. However, the "RFI" broadcaster reports, the three countries want to go further and found a true economic and political union.

The governments of the three Sahelian countries they have announced their intention to strengthen their trade exchanges, to jointly carry out energy and industrial projects, to create an investment bank and even a joint airline. So far, however, no deadline has been set for the ambitious projects. All three Sahelian countries have been suspended from bodies of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS/CEDEAO) after the respective military coups that brought to power military juntas hostile to France and the Western powers and close to Russia. Niger is also still subject to Cedeao economic sanctions against which Niamey has initiated legal proceedings, the decision of which has been postponed. In this context, the formalization of the Alliance of Sahel States closely resembles the creation of an alternative to Cedeao, and on a military level to an embryonic African "Nato".

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