The European Union (EU) has condemned the military coup in Niger and said it will not recognize the new authorities.
In a statement, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said that President Mohamed Bazoum, who was democratically elected, is the only legitimate president of Niger. He called for Bazoum’s release and said the EU holds the putschists responsible for his safety and that of his family.
Borrell said the coup weakens the state and the people of Niger, whose peace, stability and security must be preserved. He reiterated the EU’s call for the full and complete restoration of constitutional order.
The EU also said it is suspending all cooperation actions in the security field with Niger.
The coup took place on Tuesday, when soldiers stormed the presidential palace in Niamey, the capital. Bazoum was reportedly arrested and taken to an unknown location.
The coup is the latest in a series of military takeovers in West Africa. In 2020, a coup in Mali overthrew the democratically elected government. In 2021 soldiers in Guinea also seized power.
The EU has condemned all three coups and called for the restoration of constitutional order.
The coup in Niger is a setback for democracy in the region. Niger is a poor country that has been struggling with insecurity from terrorist groups. The coup could further destabilize the country and make it more difficult to fight terrorism.
The EU’s decision to suspend cooperation with Niger is a sign of the bloc’s disapproval of the coup. It is also a warning to other countries in the region that the EU will not tolerate military takeovers.