The members of the Security Council strongly condemned the efforts to unconstitutionally change the legitimate government of the Republic of Niger on 26 July 2023.
Earlier this week, the demand to release the President of Niger was voiced by the UN Secretary-General António Guterres. Late on Wednesday, a group of Nigerien military officers made a television announcement declaring a coup, after members of the president’s own guard detained him inside his offices in the capital city of Niamey. According to news reports, the attempted coup did not have the backing of the entire military, but the head of the army announced that he supported the move.
In their statement, the Security Council members expressed concern over the negative impact of unconstitutional changes of government in the region, increase in terrorist activities and the dire socio-economic situation. They also underlined their regret over the developments in Niger, which undermine efforts at consolidating the institutions of governance and peace in that country.
The Council expressed support for the efforts of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union (AU) and the United Nations and welcomed their statements reaffirming their opposition to any seizure of power by unconstitutional means, as well as the calls to the forces involved to refrain from violence, hand over power and return to their barracks.
Reiterating support for efforts to reverse unconstitutional government changes, the Council backed ECOWAS and the AU in strengthening governance and normative frameworks. In solidarity with the people of Niger, the Council emphasized the importance of protecting civilians and providing humanitarian assistance during this challenging time.