Coup leaders say UN chief blocked Niger’s General Assembly participation

Niamey, Sep 23 (EFE).- Niger’s military government has accused United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres of obstructing the country’s participation in the 78th session of the General Assembly.

Military spokesperson Amadou Abdramane said the UN decision to not allow the junta’s envoy to speak at the General Assembly in New York could “undermine efforts to resolve the crisis in our country.”

Abdramane said Guterres, with the complicity of France and the two French-speaking heads of state of ECOWAS, “went astray in the exercise of his mission by obstructing the full participation of Niger in the work of the 78th Session of the UN General Assembly.”

“The (military government) brings this matter to the attention of the national and international community, highlighting Guterres’s perfidious actions,” said the spokesperson of the army commanders who toppled the government of Nigerien President Mohamed Bazoum in a July coup.

The military government wanted to send its foreign minister, Bakary Yaou Sangaré, who was Niger’s ambassador to the UN before the coup, to represent the country at the General Assembly gathering.

However, the UN also received an application from the government to represent Niamey.

“In the event of competing credentials from a Member State, the secretary-general defers the matter to the Credentials Committee of the General Assembly, which will deliberate on the matter,” Guterres’ spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

“The secretary-general does not decide.”

However, the committee could not meet to decide on the matter, and as such, no representative from Niger was added to the list of speakers at the General Assembly.

The junta spokesperson decried the removal of Niger’s permanent representative’s UN accreditation, accusing Guterres of interfering in the internal affairs of a sovereign state.

“Niger forcefully rejects and denounces this clear interference by Guterres in the internal affairs of a sovereign state”, the military spokesperson said.

The coup d’état in Niger was led on July 26 by the self-styled National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland (CNSP), which announced the removal of the president, Mohamed Bazoum, and the suspension of the Constitution.

Niger, a former French colony, is the fourth West African nation to experience a military coup since 2020, joining Mali, Guinea-Conakry, and Burkina Faso.

The coup was condemned by the international community and by ECOWAS, which decreed harsh economic and trade sanctions against Niger (a member of the bloc before it was suspended) and also threatened military action against the coup plotters to restore constitutional order. EFE


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