China’s advice to citizens after coup in Niger


Niger coup

from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
Nigeria Bureau
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – CHINA has issued an alert to its citizens in Niger to prioritise their safety after a military coup in the West African country.

The Presidential Guard toppled the government of President Mohamed Bazoum and held him captive in the early hours of Wednesday.

Military representatives of the coup announced the establishment of the National Committee for the Defense of the Motherland (CNSP) on national television, to run the affairs of Niger forthwith.

The country’s land and air borders would be closed until the situation is stable and a nationwide curfew implemented until a new decree is promulgated.

The Chinese Embassy has swiftly responded with a notice to its nationals.

“Considering the current complicated situation in Niger, the Chinese Embassy in Niger reminds all overseas Chinese in Niger to be vigilant, strengthen protection, avoid going out and take safety precautions,” it stated.

In case of emergency, Chinese are advised to call the police and contact the Embassy in Niger as soon as possible.

On Thursday, China Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Mao Ning, addressed the situation when she hosted a regular press conference.

Ning said the government of President Xi Jinping was closely following the development of the situation in Niger, and had also noticed the relevant statements made by the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Both organisations condemned the coup.

“China calls on relevant parties in Niger to proceed from the fundamental interests of the country and the people, peacefully resolve differences through dialogue, restore normal order as soon as possible, and maintain the overall situation of national peace, stability and development,” Ning said.

A leading security think-tank forecast the situation to remain tight in the capital, Niamey, and major cities over the coming days.

Coup leaders could implement further restrictions, including restricting telecommunications.

Further clashes between supporters of Bazoum and military leaders could occur with little-to-no warning. A counter-coup attempt by soldiers loyal to Bazoum and his administration could not be ruled out.

Further protests or mass public celebrations by civilian activists are seen possible over the coming days.

Severe transport disruptions are likely until the situation stabilizes.

Citizens are urged to avoid unnecessary travel until the situation improves.

Foreigners must maintain contact with their diplomatic mission.

Diplomatic relations between China and Niger date back to 1974, some 14 years after the latter attained independence from France.

In 2021, China exported U$441 million to Niger. During the period Niger exported $344 million to China.

During the last 26 years of diplomatic re-engagement, the exports of China to Niger have increased at an annualized rate of 14,3 percent.

– CAJ News

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